Impact of Price Hikes on the Lives and Livelihoods of Poor People in Viet Nam: A follow-up activity to the participatory poverty monitoring initiative

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In January 2007, Viet Nam was admitted as the 150th member country of the WTO. It was widely recognised that this would bring many new opportunities to Viet Nam, but would also pose many challenges, especially in ensuring that the full benefits of WTO membership are shared by the whole of Viet Nam's population, including poor and vulnerable people. In this context, ActionAid Viet Nam (AAV), Oxfam Great Britain (OGB) and Oxfam Hong Kong (OHK) started the 'Post WTO' poverty monitoring initiative in early 2007. However, the time frame of this initiative also happened to coincide with the onset of the global economic crisis and so the studies provide further valuable insights into the effects of the crisis on poor and vulnerable people in Viet Nam.The initiative is intended as a longitudinal study of poverty outcomes, linked with changes in livelihoods and market access of vulnerable groups, in selected communities and cities throughout Viet Nam. The intention is to provide analysis and recommendations for policy discussion as well as for the work of Oxfam, AAV and partners.
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  1 1 This study is supported by various organizations and individuals. However, the views, conclusions and recommendations presented in this study do not necessarilyreflect those of Oxfam, AAV or any other organizations or individuals referred to in the study. Preface 1 Viet Nam has made striking achievements in poverty reduction over the last two decades. However, theGovernment is facing new challenges associated with integration into the regional and global economy.Sustainable poverty reduction in the context of high inflation is considered of great concern. As an exporterof various agricultural products, Viet Nam should benefit overall from food price increases. Yet, it is stillunclear who benefits, who loses, how the urban and rural poor are affected and how they are responding.In an effort to seek solutions to mitigate the adverse impacts on the poor women and men and the most disadvantaged groups, Oxfam GB, Oxfam Hong Kong and Action Aid Viet Nam have, in conjunction withlocal partner institutions, conducted a joint study on the impacts of price hikes on the lives and livelihoodsof the poor in Viet Nam. The study is a follow-up activity to the “Participatory poverty monitoring” initiativein selected communities.The study provides detailed evidence-based analysis and recommendations as inputs to the process of policydialogue and policy development with an aim to contribute to the cause of poverty reduction and sustainabledevelopment in Viet Nam.We would like to sincerely thank all who have contributed to this study, including Truong Xuan (Ageless)Consultants who have worked very hard and effectively to complete the study within a tight timeframe; and the local partner institutions and the people in Dien Bien, Dak Lak, Quang Tri, Hai Phong City and Go VapDistrict of Ho Chi Minh City who have spared their time for this study.For Oxfam For Action Aid Viet Nam Steve Price-Thomas Phan Vn Ngc Country Director Country Director  3 2 Comments to Mr. Hoàng Xuân Thành, Team Leader, Director of Trng Xuân (Ageless) Company, (04) 39434478 (work), 091 334 0972 (mobile), email: thanhhx@gmail.com; Ms. Lê Kim Dung, Programme Coordinator, Oxfam GB, (04) 39454362, ext. 141, email: lkdung@oxfam.org.uk; and Ms. V Th Qunh Hoa,Governance Officer, ActionAid Viet Nam, (04) 39439866, ext 126, email: hoa.vuthiquynh@actionaid.org Acknowledgements We would like to thank the management and staff of Oxfam GB, Oxfam Hong Kong and ActionAid Viet Nam(AAV) for their valuable comments throughout the undertaking of this assignment including design, site visits and report writing. We also appreciate the Oxfam and AAV staff who were able to join us for site visitsand share their useful knowledge and experiences regarding the methodology and content of the study. Weappreciate the assistance of Jago Penrose in editing of the final report.We would like to thank the People’s Committees, Departments of Foreign Affairs and line agencies at variouslevels in the provinces of Dien Bien, Dak Lak and Quang Tri, Hai Phong City and Gò Vp District (Ho ChiMinh City) for their permission and assistance in making the case studies possible. The proactiveparticipation and smooth coordination of local partner institutions, Oxfam and AAV including theprogramme coordinators and staff at the district level as well as local NGO officers have been essential to the success of the study. Our special thanks to the village and hamlet cadres who helped facilitate our fieldwork.Finally, we would like to express our most sincere thanks to the households in the villages and hamlets we visited and the women and men for taking their time to talk to us about the advantages and challenges theyhave in life as well as their comments, plans and desires in the various group discussions and individualinterviews. Without their kind and proactive participation this study would have been impossible.Given the tight timeframe and the complex theme of the study, errors may exist. We would appreciatereceiving comments 2  from interested readers and would like to thank you in advance. Truong Xuan (Ageless) Consultants Hoàng Xuân Thành (Team Leader)Dr. Ngô Vn HiĐinh Th Thu PhngPhm Vit SnHà M Thun
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