IFAD prioritizes support for poor women in sustainable economic development

On September 6, at the Head office of the Central Vietnam Women's Union, Ms. Tran Lan Phuong - VWU Vice President, had a working session with Mr. Francisco Pichon - Head of Mekong Regional Office, Vietnam Country Director of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), to discuss future cooperation activities to support women in economic development.
Ms. Tran Lan Phuong, VWU Vice President, receives Mr. Francisco Pichon - Head of Mekong Regional Office, Vietnam Country Director of IFAD

Mr. Francisco Pichon shared that in the period of 2019 - 2025, IFAD had been implementing the Country Strategic Opportunities Program (COSOP) in Vietnam, supporting farmers and small and medium agribusinesses in underdeveloped regions with a high percentage of ethnic minorities. The overarching goal of the Program is to sustainably improve incomes of smallholders and the rural poor through market participation and reduced climate vulnerability. Mr. Francisco Pichon emphasized that poor women were one of the priority beneficiaries of the program.

On behalf of the VWU, Ms. Tran Lan Phuong affirmed that the VWU paid great attention to implementing projects to support women in start-up; investing in models of women in the collective economy and the digital economy; supporting to build and maintain bio-circular-green economic models associated with sustainable agriculture in Vietnam.

Currently, TYM under the VWU is one of the largest microfinance institutions in Vietnam that aims to reduce poverty and implement various savings programs to help women in asset accumulation, financial management and business development with the total outstanding loans of more than VND 2,300 billion.

Based on the related achievements of the two sides during the past time and the common goal of supporting women, especially poor women, in sustainable economic development, IFAD wished to further cooperate with the VWU in implementing microfinance and savings activities in the future. VWU Vice President Tran Lan Phuong suggested that IFAD would continue to support and cooperate with the VWU, especially at the central level, to improve the capacity of its microfinance programs and projects.

VWU and IFAD leaders and staff members at meeting

Besides, the two sides also wished to have legal and policy advice related to microfinance, credits and savings, to contribute to creating a convenient savings and credit channel at the community, thus limiting unofficial credits; to develop manuals and organize TOT training classes for VWU staff, to provide financial education for VWU members; to establish village-based credit and savings groups and to cooperate and support digital transformation initiatives in microfinance management.

The VWU also suggested cooperating with IFAD in communication to raise public awareness about women’s roles in green growth, green economy, environmental protection, and climate change response.

Translated by the VWU International Relations Department