Over the past four decades, the Western European country has supported Vietnam in different areas, particularly education, public health, water, and sanitation.

The current Indicative Cooperation Program, with total investment of EUR 58 million, focuses on the areas of governance, water management and urban planning in the context of climate change, and promotion of green growth.

Since 2005, Binh Thuan and Ninh Thuan, two localities in Vietnam in general and in the country’s South Central region in particular, have been selected by the Belgian Development Cooperation to support in the fields of irrigation, sanitation, and protection of the environment. The current programs in the two provinces are on water management to adapt to climate change and promote green growth. The Belgian Development Agency (Enabel) is in charge of implementing all the projects in the bilateral cooperation at the governmental level.

Belgian Ambassador to Vietnam Paul Jansen

In Binh Thuan, after meeting with the local authorities, Ambassador P. Jansen and his entourage visited a solar energy project in Ham Thuan Bac district - a pilot project under the Green Growth Strategy Facility, attended the inauguration of the work “Dyke against erosion/landslide of the Luy River banks” in Bac Binh district, toured some local facilities, and talked with beneficiaries of the project "Integrated water resource management and urban development in relation with climate change in Binh Thuan in the 2014-2019 period."

The Belgian delegation also met with some families benefiting from the Vietnam-Belgium micro-credit project of the Vietnam Women’s Union chapter of Tan Lap commune, Ham Thuan Nam district. The Vietnam-Belgium credit project was carried out in three phases from 1997 to 2012. Through 15 years of implementation, the Belgian government supported nearly VND 45 billion (nearly USD 2 million) to provide more than 52,000 poor women with accesses to credit and business development services.

Particularly, the single credit project assisted nearly 10,000 women in escaping from poverty and improving their living standards, while contributing to enhancing gender equality, and improving the position of underprivileged rural women in their families and communities. Although the project ended in 2012, the credit support fund, maintained and developed by the Vietnam Women's Union, kept operating professionally and more effectively. It even attracted private investors.

In Ninh Thuan, Ambassador P. Jansen plans to visit the Cau Ngoi flood drainage channel work – a construction scheduled to start very soon and meet with beneficiaries of the project "Integrated water resource management and urban development in relation with climate change in Ninh Thuan in the 2014-2019 period."

Translated by Chung Anh