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HA NOI, 29/3/2019 – a national workshop to launch the report “Towards a comprehensive national policy for an ageing in Viet Nam” was held today in Ha Noi by the Viet Nam National Committee on Ageing and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Viet Nam. This report analyzes population ageing in Viet Nam and its impacts and provides policy suggestions necessary for responding to this demographic trend.

Viet Nam has officially entered the "ageing phase" since 2011, and is among the most rapidly ageing countries in the world. The proportion of older persons in the total population has increased to 11.9 per cent, and one in nine persons is over the age of 60 in 2017. According to the projection of the General Statistics Office, in 2038, the population over 60 years old is expected to reach 21 million, accounting for 20 per cent of total population.

This projection also shows that from 2038 onwards, working age population will start decreasing and such fall will badly affect the development of socio-economy if no suitable policies are applied. Population ageing is an inevitable trend, unless Viet Nam has early intervention policy to maintain rational population structure. Besides, feminization of aging also takes place in every nation, including Viet Nam, which enquires that new policies and programmes adapting to population ageing need to consider the gender factor and different demand due to gender differences among older population.

Participating in the workshop were Ms. Nguyen Thi Ha, Vice Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA); Pham Thi Hai Chuyen, President of the Viet Nam Association of the Elderly, Vice President of Viet Nam National Committee for Ageing;  Mr. Nguyen Van Tien, Former Vice Chairman of the Parliamentarian Committee for Social Affairs; Ms. Astrid Bant, UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam; and Mr. Rintaro Monri, Technical Advisor on Population Ageing and Sustainable Development, UNFPA Asia and Pacific Regional Office.

Ms. Nguyen Thi Ha, Vice Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs

Population ageing in Viet Nam has reached a level where it is having a great impact on all sectors of the economy. This calls for the Government to direct and facilitate ensuring that people in Viet Nam can live healthy, active and fulfilling lives throughout their lives. While the major concern is the older persons defined as those aged 60 years and more, population ageing has started to affect everyone. In order to cope with the ageing of the population, it is therefore no longer sufficient to meet the expectations and needs of the older population only but it requires a more comprehensive approach to address its effects on all population groups. However, while Viet Nam's current policies are mainly to support and address the problems of older persons, there is need for a more comprehensive policy on population ageing. It is therefore necessary to address current ageing-related issues which affect both older and young people and develop national programmes and policies that are consistent with the government’s action plans on socio-economic development to achieve positive and successful results.

In pursuance of the Government's Resolution No. 137/NQ-CP of December 31, 2017 promulgating the Government's Program of Action for the implementation of Resolution No. 21-NQ/TW of October 25, 2017, 6th Central Committee of Party XII on population work in the new situation, there is need to undertake specific tasks such as drafting the Law on Population; promulgating the amendments and supplements to the Law on the Elderly; and developing the national program on older people to 2030 and the project on health care for older people to 2030 to submit to the National Assembly and the Government in 2019-2020.

Mr. Rintaro Monri, Technical Advisor on Population Ageing and Sustainable Development, UNFPA Asia and Pacific Regional Office

With the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) under the VNM9P03 project, "Supporting Vietnamese agencies in the provision and use of data on population and development and evidence to develop and monitor plans, strategies and policies for economic and social development, and sustainable development goals 2017-2021”, the Viet Nam National Committee on Ageing has developed this policy report to provide an overall situation analysis on ageing in Viet Nam and recommendations to the Government of Viet Nam on the need for developing a comprehensive national policy to respond to population ageing issues and prepare for a well adaptation of the country in the aged population context.

Addressing the workshop, Ms. Astrid Bant, UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam said: "As we step towards the better future we all want, ‘leaving no one behind’ will mean making space for the contributions of older persons. Let us promote the rights and ensure the full participation of older persons to build better societies for all ages. I believe that by joining forces and working together, we truly can make a difference and help promote meaningful responses to population ageing – responses based on values of non-discrimination and equality that advance the vision of a vigorous, happy and healthy old age.”

In her concluding remarks, Ms. Nguyen Thi Ha, Vice Minister of MOLISA said: “The report is a very useful, which provides more information to help us have a more comprehensive view of population ageing and policy direction for the future. The report’s recommendations will be a foundation for MOLISA - a coordinating agency on the elderly – and other related agencies to develop a comprehensive national policy for an ageing in Viet Nam. In the coming years, with the technical support of UNFPA, we will coordinate with other line ministries and agencies to develop specific activities to develop policies and programmes to respond to population ageing, such as social security issues, employment for the elderly, health care, social care, emergency relief, environment friendly for the elderly; and prepare for old age”.

Click here to read the speech of UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam
For further information, please contact:
Nguyen Thi Hong Thanh - UNFPA Communications
Phone: 84-24-38500345