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Development assistance to Viet Nam to increase

May 9 2005

Development assistance to Viet Nam to increase

New Zealand development assistance to Viet Nam is to be significantly enhanced through increased financial support and the appointment of a fulltime ODA manager in Ha Noi, the Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today.

Helen Clark made the announcement following talks with the Prime Minister of Viet Nam, Phan Van Khai, who is in New Zealand as part of a visit marking 30 years of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and Viet Nam.

"New Zealand’s development cooperation with Viet Nam will be substantially upgraded. Over the next three years, New Zealand will increase aid to Viet Nam by 340 per cent, from $3 million in 2004/05 to more than $10 million in 2007/08," Helen Clark said.

"Viet Nam is a core ODA partner for New Zealand, and the expansion in ODA will enable us to provide support for basic education and rural livelihoods. As a first step, $5.5 million has been committed over four years to a national targeted programme for primary education.

"New Zealand’s programme in Viet Nam builds on links developed by New Zealand medical personnel in Binh Dinh Province during the early 1960s. NZAID funds a major maternal and child health initiative in the region with support from the UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA).

"It is currently NZAID’s largest single aid project outside the Pacific, and is complemented by the presence of VSA volunteers and the New Zealand Viet Nam Health Trust in Binh Dinh’s health sector.

"Viet Nam is an important regional partner. New Zealand stands ready to support Viet Nam and other newer members of ASEAN as they integrate into regional and global trade," said Helen Clark.

ENDS

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