Published on June 3, 2022

Accelerating Viet Nam’s Transition Toward Inclusive and Integrated Social Protection

The Joint SDG Fund Joint Programme in Viet Nam advocates for inclusive and integrated Social Protection Reform to reach every child, every mother, every elderly, every worker and every ethnic minority woman with quality package with a life-cycle, gender-sensitive and shock-responsive approach.

The UN Joint Programme on Social Protection and Leaving No One Behind was launched in January 2020, disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic which has had a disproportionate impact on people in vulnerable groups including those in poor or near-poor groups, informal workers, children, persons with disabilities and older persons in Viet Nam. They have lost incomes, access to education, access to social services as well as adequate social care and protection as the Covid-19 pandemic continued with its new waves throughout 2021. The Covid-19 has exacerbated the already vulnerable social protection system in Viet Nam, with 70% of women and informal workers have no access to cash assistance. Among 11 million elderly people, more than 65% has no access to pension. There are 20 million children without social care support. Among 6.2 million people living with severe disabilities, only 1.2 million are receiving social assistance accounting for around 20% of total persons living with disabilities. The pandemic only further revealed the needs for quality expansion and change in the social protection system for Viet Nam and its people.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the UN Joint Programme, Accelerating Viet Nam’s Transition towards Inclusive and Integrated Social Protection implemented during the last 29 months has generated significant results from bringing in multi-tier system with life-cycle, gender-sensitive and shock-responsive approach for Viet Nam’s reform on social protection system to advocate for expansion of the social protection coverage in integrated and inclusive manner with minimum burden to the fiscal capacity for the state budget.

The Joint Programme in Viet Nam is implemented by ILO, UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF under the Resident Coordinator’s leadership and overall coordination support from RCO, together with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and other national bodies such as Vietnam Social Security (VSS), Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) as well as grassroots and local-level organizations. At the final donor and results dissemination workshop organized by the United Nations in Viet Nam on 19 May 2022, Ms Caitlin Wiesen, the UN Resident Coordinator ai said,

“Collectively the UN Country Team supported the strengthening the social protection system in Viet Nam to the most vulnerable and marginalized groups of the population, including children, women (especially ethnic minority women), adolescents, persons living with disabilities, and the elderly.”




The final donor event presented the results and achievements from the programme, as well as crucial findings and recommendations to help Viet Nam continue to accelerate its progress toward a more shock-resilient, integrated and inclusive social protection system.

“The programme’s workplan has focused on providing technical support to strengthening and expansion of Viet Nam’s social protection system. Our work with our government partners has focused on the importance of a life-cycle approach, universal coverage, digitalized self-registration, management and delivery of social assistance services as keys to provide a comprehensive, multi-tiered, shock responsive, inclusive integrated social protection system to all people of Viet Nam.”, shared by the Resident Coordinator ai. in her remarks as well as in the presentation on the results by the UN Joint Programme technical lead, Mr Andre Gama of ILO.




Some of the key results of the UN Joint Programme are: A new regulation on extension of Social Assistance, prepared with technical support from the UNJP has been endorsed by the Prime Minister on

15 March 2021. The new Decree, effective from 1st July 2021, regulates the increased in social protection coverage for its vulnerable population, including groups of children, older persons and people with disabilities. This is a significant result as it demonstrates the Government’s commitment to leaving no one behind and realizing the right to social security for everyone. Another key result is real-time data analysis of the COVID-19’s impacts on vulnerable people for timely policy action, which helps identify multiple gender gaps and vulnerabilities of aging and informality for gender-responsive social protection. Enhanced national capacity on social care services for older persons and enhanced the legal framework for child protection services and developed an inter-sectoral protocol for addressing violence against children are also our UN Joint Programme’s achievement.

This UN Joint Programme is funded by the Joint SDG Fund, a pooled fund by United Nations targeted at SDG acceleration through commitments from Member States, private sector and philanthropies. At the Joint SDG Fund Final Donor Event in Viet Nam, representatives from Germany, Ireland, Norway, Spain and European Union raised comments and shared their perspectives on the impressive results, especially from a life-cycle and gender-responsive approach to social protection expansion for the people of Viet Nam. Key national partners from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Bureau of Employers’ Activities of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, among others, shared also their wishes for continued cooperation with the UN in Viet Nam for further action-oriented social protection policies.




“The achievements from the 2020 – 2022 of the UN Joint Programme on Social Protection were built on a much longer history of successful and effective collaboration between the UN in Viet Nam and the Government of Viet Nam. At the same time, I must emphasize that, going forward we will need to redouble our efforts with more ambitious goals and commitments to accelerate SDGs achievements as we recover from COVID-19 and a long-term universal targeting for inclusive and integrated social protection.” added the UN Resident Coordinator ai.