New partnership aims to optimize development assistance for health
Ha Noi, 23 April 2009 - Last week the newly formed Health Partnership Group, led by the Ministry of Health of Viet Nam and including UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA and UNAIDS as well as other development partners, held their first meeting and adopted a joint Statement of Intent to guide their work together. The Statement aims to make development assistance for health more efficient and effective, and contribute to the achievement of Viet Nam’s health development goals.
“Moving from principles to practice will mean new ways of working for many of us, both partners and Government,” said Dr. Jean-Marc Olivé, WHO Representative in
The agreement includes commitments in three main areas:
- strengthening country ownership;
- building more effective and inclusive partnerships for development; and
- delivering and accounting for development results
For example, under the agreement, the Ministry of Health will take the lead in developing and implementing
Viet Nam’s Minister of Health Nguyen Quoc Trieu affirmed the value of the partnership and the need for ongoing international assistance: “Support from the international community has covered many health fields and contributed to improvement of infrastructure, technical issues and quality of health services at different levels….[the] MOH would like to appeal to development partners for their continuing support for the health sector of Viet Nam, with a focus on two priorities: health policy and development investment.”
These priorities are reflected in a list of milestones included in the Statement, which identify the lead government agency, completion dates and proposed facilitating donor organizations.
UN organizations are working to support specific milestones, and stand ready to be involved in other milestones as requested. For example, as part of Milestone 1, WHO has completed a draft table of donor contributions to the health sector, available on the WHO website (http://www.wpro.who.int/vietnam). UN organizations are also working with other partners in support of the milestones related to the next five-year health sector plan and budget, including an event towards the end of April that will bring support and examples of international good practice to the Government of Viet Nam as it embarks on its next planning cycle.
The Health Partnership Group and the Statement of Intent should lead to greater harmonization and coherence in development assistance for health, and will complement the ongoing efforts of the UN in