Aus4EqualityUpdatesAusEquality|GREAT program officially kicks off in Son La Province

AusEquality|GREAT program officially kicks off in Son La Province

Son La, 24th July 2018 – The Australian and Vietnamese Governments officially kicked off its Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) Program in Northwestern Vietnam in a bid to empower, create jobs and improve incomes for local women.

The AUD 33.7 million (approximately VND 600 billion) program, implemented from 2017 to 2021 will empower local women to engage in agriculture and tourism markets, enhance women’s voices in economic decision-making. The program will partner with a diverse range of actors, including the private and non-government sectors in agriculture and tourism to improve the policy environment and stimulate inclusive and equitable growth the mountainous north-west region of Vietnam. It is expected the Program will assist some 40,000 self-employed women to boost their incomes and create approximately 4,000 jobs for women to drive economic growth in the provinces.

Mr. Justin Baguley, Counsellor, Economic and Development Cooperation at the Australian Embassy in Vietnam, remarked: “Gender equality is a priority for both Australia and Vietnam and a critical part of the Australian Government’s development cooperation in Vietnam. The GREAT program aims to stimulate innovative solutions to enhance the lives of women, their families and local communities in north-west Vietnam and will also contribute to higher productivity and economic growth in the region. We look forward to working closely with the provinces of Lao Cai and Son La to make the program a success”.

Son La province has been placing our greatest efforts on reducing poverty and improving gender equality. We highly appreciate the support of Australian Government along with the Vietnamese Government’s investment in initiatives on poverty reduction, gender equality improvement and socio-economic development”, Mr. Lo Minh Hung, Vice Chair of the Provincial Committee of Son La province said at his opening speech.

A forthcoming call for proposals was also be announced at the event. The call will be available to partners from both private and public sectors and aims to develop and implement innovative market-oriented solutions to persistent poverty and economic marginalisation among women in ethnic minority communities in the two provinces. Successful applicants will receive financial and technical support from the Program, and in exchange, will help to enhance linkages with new markets and suppliers; improve the policy environment; and contribute to sustainable social development in north-west Vietnam.