21 February 2023

Achieving sustainable development goals in Viet Nam

With a population of 97.6 million people in 2020 (GSO 2021), Viet Nam has made positive strides in economic growth and poverty reduction in the last 30 years. Over the past two decades, the country has made important progress in increasing social services coverage toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The national poverty rate has reduced sharply from 21 percent in 2010 to 5 percent in 2020 (World Bank 2022). However, there are significant disparities across regions, ethnic groups and between rural and urban areas. Additional effort is still needed to ensure the country’s SDG targets will be timely met by 2030. Furthermore, while poverty has consistently reduced, the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020 has led to setbacks in poverty reduction and widen inequality across both monetary and non-monetary dimensions, with harmful effects on children’s wellbeing and child-related SDG progress. With a mandate to advocate for child rights, UNICEF Viet Nam has been providing technical assistance to monitor child poverty and social indicators through evidence generation and support to national surveys. The Viet Nam Sustainable Development Goals on Children and Women (SDGCW) survey was carried out in 2020-2021 by Viet Nam’s General Statistics Office (GSO) in collaboration with other government ministries and agencies as part of UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) programme. Technical and financial support was provided by UNICEF and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This SDGCW report was officially disseminated in December 2021. The SDGCW 2020-2021 survey includes data for 169 indicators, of which 35 are directly linked to SDG indicators, making it a key data source to monitor Viet Nam’s progress towards achieving the SDGs and its national targets under its National Plan of Action on the Implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The survey’s findings will enable Viet Nam to better track and fulfill its commitment to “leaving no one behind,” as all indicators can be disaggregated by wealth quintiles, sex, age, ethnicity, migratory status, disability and geographic location, or other characteristics.