Belgian Ambassador to Vietnam Paul Jansen paid an official visit to Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan provinces from January 9 to 11, 2019, in order to get update on the progress of the Belgian-funded projects there.
Over the last four decades, the Belgian Development Cooperation has supported Vietnam in a number of areas, from infrastructure-focused projects to poverty reduction and social development programs in the 1990s.
With Vietnam’s “Doi Moi” and opening-up policy, Belgium set priority to support Vietnam in education, public health, water and sanitation. The current Indicative Cooperation Program of EUR58 million focuses on the areas of governance, water management and urban planning in the context of climate change and green growth.
Since 2005 Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan are the localities of Vietnam and in the South Central Region in particular, selected by the Belgian Development Cooperation to support in the field of irrigation, sanitation and protection of the environment. The current cooperation program implemented by the two provinces and focuses on water management in order to adapt to climate change and green growth.
Enabel (Belgian Development Agency) is responsible for implementing all the projects in the bilateral cooperation at governmental level.
In Binh Thuan, after meeting with the local authorities, Ambassador P. Jansen and the delegation will visit the solar energy project in Ham Thuan Bac district – a pilot project under the Green Growth Strategy Facility (GGSF); attend the inauguration of the work “Dyke against erosion/landslide of the Luy River banks in Bac Binh district.
The delegation plans to visit some related works and talk with beneficiaries of the project “Integrated Water Resource Management and Urban Development in relation with climate change in Binh Thuan province (2014-2019)”.
The Belgian delegation will also meet some households beneficiaries of the Vietnam-Belgium micro-credit project of the Vietnam Women Union in Tan Lap commune, Ham Thuan Nam district. The Vietnam-Belgium credit project has been carried out in three phases from 1997 to 2012. Through 15 years of implementation, the Belgian government has supported with nearly VND45 billion (nearly US$2 million) and as such has provided more than 52,000 poor women with access to credit and business development services. The project contributed to enhancing gender equality, improving the position of underprivileged rural women in families and society. After the project closure in 2012, but the Credit Support Fund was maintained and further developed by the Vietnam Women’s Union, operated professionally, more effectively. It even attracted private investors.
In Ninh Thuan, after meeting with local authorities, Ambassador P.Jansen and the delegation will make a site inspection of the Cau Ngoi work: flood drainage channel – a construction that is due to start very soon.
Ambassador P.Jansen is looking forward to the positive changes brought about by the Belgian-funded projects. He welcomes the close and effective cooperation of the authorities at all levels of Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan provinces in implementing the projects, the embassy said in a statement.