British diplomat upbeat on VN's poverty reduction
"The Vietnamese government has been extremely successful in reducing poverty from close to 70 percent to less than 20 percent," British Minister for International Development Shahid Malik told a Viet Nam News Agency reporter on August 29.
Britain's Department for International Development (DFID) has been a consistant donor for Viet Nam for 16 years and has provided close to 227 million pounds (roughly 450 million USD) since 1992. DFID is now moving away from small stand-alone bilateral projects and co-financed projects to directly financing government's programmes.
In the 10-year Development Partnership Arrangement (DPA) inked with the Vietnamese Government last year, the DFID had commit to providing Viet Nam with 250 million pounds over the first phase within five years. The pact, Malik said, is "a sign of the friendship and commitment" that the UK and Vietnam enjoy.
"I am quite confident that at the end of these 10 years, both the Vietnamese Government and the British Government will feel a sense of achievements on what we have accomplished," he added.
Malik arrived in Viet Nam on August 28 for the start of a three-day visit to a country that he said, is a model in the areas of of poverty reduction and development.
The British minister met with Minister of Planning and Investment Vo Hong Phuc and is scheduled to have a meeting with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem. He is also expected to have talks with donors and non-governmental organisations that are based in Ha Noi before departing for home on August 30.
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