Viet Nam

IFAD Asset Request Portlet



The Context

Two decades of rapid economic growth and market integration have transformed Viet Nam from a subsistence economy to an emerging economy of lower-middle-income status, integrated into global markets. The structure of the economy has shifted from agriculture to industry and services. 

Yet in rural areas, home to 70 per cent of the population, poverty remains a severe and chronic problem. The average income per capita there is less than 50 per cent of that in urban areas, and the rural poverty rate is nearly three times the urban rate. 

Poverty gains are fragile, and a portion of the population are living close to the poverty line. Poor and extremely poor people are concentrated in ethnic minority groups. 

Rural people have little or no savings or State support and are almost totally dependent on gathering natural resources and subsistence-level agriculture. This makes them especially vulnerable to unexpected shocks. Around 90 per cent of total spending among rural residents is for basic living costs. Most of this income stems from agriculture, forestry and aquaculture production, and from wages derived from unskilled manual labour.

Half of the nation’s poor people belong to ethnic minorities, though they represent only 15 per cent of the population. Poverty is concentrated in the upland areas of the north-east and north-west mountains, the central coastal region, and the parts of the central highlands and Mekong Delta where ethnic minorities reside. 

Improving living standards in rural areas have also brought income inequity and environmental degradation. Urbanization and industrialization often deprive poor rural people of access to land, while leaving behind unskilled labourers and unemployed youth. These marginalized groups are highly vulnerable to shocks from climate change and natural disasters, as well as economic and health shocks.

The Strategy

In Viet Nam, IFAD focuses on activities that have the greatest impact on residual poverty in rural areas, reflecting the emerging challenges and opportunities of a lower-middle-income country, a changing economic structure and growing urbanization.

Our current strategy and portfolio of programmes and projects are aimed at developing market-led innovations that aid poor people. They work by deepening institutional and policy reform at the provincial level and building capacity in districts and communes and among poor farm households. 

We are also working to incorporate IFAD-supported experience into government systems and programmes. The process aims at: 

  • integrating participatory and market-oriented local planning into the government’s socioeconomic development planning processes; 
  • capacity-building at all levels to improve the management of rural development outcomes; 
  • improving access to and quality of a variety of rural services; 
  • community-led infrastructure development; 
  • increasing market access and pro-poor value chains and sustainable livelihoods, both on and off the farm; 
  • formation and support for producer cooperatives and other common-interest groups. 

A number of IFAD-supported projects in Viet Nam also include climate change response, since the country is predicted to be significantly affected by climate change.


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Country Facts

About 70 per cent of Vietnamese people live in rural areas and have livelihoods dependent on agriculture.

About one third of the population (around 30 million people) lives close to the poverty line. Poor and extremely poor people are mainly concentrated in ethnic minority groups. 

Since 1993, IFAD has invested US$334.5 million to finance 14 projects and programmes related to agricultural development in Viet Nam, benefiting 669,070 households.

Country documents

Conteúdo Relacionado

Socialist Republic of Viet Nam Country Strategic Opportunities Programme 2019-2025 Tipo: Regional and country document, Country Strategic Opportunities Programme

Country Experts

Projects and Programmes

Projects Browser

Reduced Emissions through Climate Smart Agroforestry

cost: $97.84 million-allcapital-abbreviation

Ler Mais
Developing Business with the Rural Poor Programme

cost: $50.50 million-allcapital-abbreviation

Ler Mais
Ha Tinh Rural Development Project

cost: $19.13 million-allcapital-abbreviation

Ler Mais
Ha Giang Development Project for Ethnic Minorities

cost: $18.40 million-allcapital-abbreviation

Ler Mais

Related news

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IFAD loan to enable small-scale farmers in Viet Nam to plan for, cope with and adapt to climate change impacts

Fevereiro 2023 - NEWS
IFAD and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam last week signed a loan agreement to promote inclusive and sustainable agricultural growth in the Mekong Delta. The Climate-smart Agricultural Value Chain Development (CSAT) project will generate sustainable income opportunities and improved rural livelihoods for 60,000 families engaged in small-scale farming.

UN Agency Deputy Head to visit Viet Nam to strengthen 25-year rural development partnership

Maio 2019 - NEWS
Donal Brown, Associate Vice-President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is visiting the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam this week to review progress made together to improve lives and reduce poverty in rural areas.

UN agency examines approach to decentralized operations in Asia and the Pacific

Julho 2016 - NEWS
Hanoi, 5 July 2016 – Government representatives and agricultural development specialists will gather in Hanoi 6-7 July to discuss the International Fund

Related stories and blogs

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Lasting traditions: How Dao healers are custodians of indigenous knowledge and the natural environment

Dezembro 2022 - STORY
In Viet Nam the Dao people treat ailments with local herbs, forest products and generational knowledge.

Discovering the fruits of the forests in Viet Nam—and preserving them for future generations

Julho 2022 - STORY
Vietnamese rural people need to farm to eat and make a living. But if they don’t do this sustainably, it can damage the land and degrade the forests. IFAD’s new project helps them manage their forests sustainably, while earning a decent living.

Bringing the benefits of agricultural insurance to smallholders in Viet Nam: Building awareness and understanding

Novembro 2021 - STORY
Between sowing their seeds and selling their harvest, smallholder farmers in developing countries face a multitude of potentially devastating risks. In Viet Nam, as in countries around the world, many of the most severe threats are climate-related, including storms, floods, excessive heat, frost and drought.

Related publications

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IFAD Research Series No. 89: Incorporating the Impact of Climate and Weather Variables in Impact Assessments: An Application to an IFAD Climate Change Adaptation Project in Viet Nam

Março 2023
This paper discusses which climate variables to collect, and from which sources, when incorporating them into an impact assessment.

Investing in rural people in Viet Nam

Junho 2022
This country fact sheet outlines IFAD’s strategy to eradicate poverty in Viet Nam, which focus on developing market-led innovations that aid poor people.

ASAP Technical Series: Building climate resilience in the Asia Pacific region

Novembro 2021
This study examines six projects, in three principal ecosystems of the region: a mountainous region, wetlands and a river delta.

AVANTI country summaries

Junho 2021
The AVANTI country summaries provide insights and takeaways from AVANTI experiences at the national level.

Stories from the field: Innovative agriculture

Março 2020
Unlocking opportunities for rural entrepreneurs and farmers in the sub-Mekong region.

Related videos

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Viet Nam: Adapting in the Delta

Maio 2014 - VIDEO
Vietnam is the world's second largest exporter of rice and 60 percent of it is grown in the Mekong Delta. But now farmers in at least two provinces say the future of rice production is threatened because of rising sea levels and temperature increases attributed to climate change.