Vietnam’s shift from a centrally planned to a market economy has transformed the country from one of the poorest in the world into a lower middle-income country. Vietnam now is one of the most dynamic emerging countries in East Asia region.
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“Our intention is to help mainstream the construction of resource-efficient residential and commercial buildings by bringing together governments, green building councils, financial institutions, deve... Show More +lopers, and homeowners. We have made great progress laying the groundwork for success in South Africa and hope to quickly replicate our strategy in other major markets,” Kapoor said. Encouraging efficiency through certificationThe Green Business Council of South Africa and IFC recently launched an EDGE certification program in South Africa, focused on the residential property sector, and certification is being rolled out in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama.The voluntary certification is a way for builders to demonstrate the benefits of green efficiencies to residents, owners, and investors. Buildings that use 20 percent less energy, water, and embodied energy in building materials than their peers – as demonstrated by the EDGE tool – achieve the EDGE performance standard and are eligible for certification.To help builders reduce energy toward meeting the performance standard, EDGE shows the differences in choosing efficient HVAC systems, lower-energy lighting, solar solutions, or even the use of fans in all rooms. Water consumption can be reduced by choosing to install low-flow showerheads or faucets as well as dual flush systems for water closets. The tool takes into account the climate of the city where the building is being designed. Once a user identifies the city and country, temperatures are populated into the system, as are local costs.As the user chooses the different materials and options to design the building, EDGE gives a running tally of estimated monthly energy use, the amount of greenhouse gas that is saved as well as utility costs, and how long it will take to pay back the green investments in the building.Changing how people think about constructionThe EDGE green building program is trying to change the way people think about and value green buildings – as practical and necessary, not as luxuries – and to encourage their construction in rapidly urbanizing economies. The goal is to make the benefits clearer for builders, bankers, and buyers.The International Energy Agency estimates buildings account for one-third of final energy consumption globally and energy demand could rise by 50 percent by 2050, if no action is taken to improve efficiencies in buildings. According to the IEA, the deployment of energy-efficient technologies that are already commercially available could result in global savings equivalent to the current energy use of Russia and India combined. Show Less -
East Asia is on the front lines of climate change. Hundreds of millions of people in the region live in and outside cities in low-lying areas, facing increasing risks from rising seas, heat waves, dro... Show More +ughts, salinity intrusion and water scarcity. We have been experiencing one extreme weather event after another in recent years, including deadly floods and destructive winds unleashed by supertyphoons. Now is the season for typhoons, which have been leaving in their wake scenes of destruction and shattered lives in the Philippines, Vietnam, China and elsewhere in the region. Each superstorm is a reminder of why we, and leaders everywhere, have an urgent responsibility to act now to reduce climate and disaster risks. We must do more to invest in building resilience to help communities stand up to a future of more extreme weather. That includes investing in infrastructure, social safety nets and microinsurance, as well as other programs and projects that bind communities together. Worldwide, we must reduce activities that are fueling climate change. None of this can be delayed. We are running out of time. On Sept. 23, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will convene world leaders for a climate summit in New York to mobilize international, national and local actions as we head toward a new international climate agreement in 2015. He is looking for leaders in this field. Leadership means driving smart policies that lift people out of poverty, increase prosperity and leave a better world for future generations. It means instituting policies that catalyze green investment and give companies the certainty they need to clean up their industries and supply chains. One option may include putting a price on carbon to set in motion the shift toward cleaner investment, without prejudice on the right to sustainable development. Leadership also means promoting energy efficiency through performance standards on buildings, cars and appliances. And it means setting targets for renewable energy and investing in a clean energy future. For investors, leadership means making sound choices, such as green bonds—now a $20-billion market and growing—that bring a healthy return for putting money into low-carbon projects, such as renewable energy, reforestation and low-carbon transportation. On the climate frontlines in Asia, leadership is essential. Vietnam, one of the countries mostly affected by sea-level rise, is pursuing a low-carbon growth path and working to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as mass transit options in cities. As part of its Green Growth Strategy, it aims to reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and beyond. Along with other countries that share the Mekong Delta, the country is also bringing science and decision-making together for innovative solutions to water resources and coastal zone management to protect threatened communities and livelihoods in the Delta. Still, Vietnam needs more international cooperation and support for effective responses to climate change. The Philippines is working on a replicable model for increasing the scale and effectiveness of climate and disaster financing. It has increased climate-smart investments, particularly for flood control, energy efficiency and reforestation. It has also set a goal of tripling its renewable energy by 2030 and approved a set of renewable energy incentives, including feed-in tariffs and net metering to promote their use. And China has launched seven local pilot carbon markets in the past two years, creating the second-largest carbon market in the world, and has invested heavily in low-carbon cities and renewable energy. Forward-thinking leaders are showing that with careful design, critical development projects can also reduce emissions and build resilience to future extreme weather events. Developing countries have learned from the poor choices now evident in developed countries and are leapfrogging them to climate-smart, low-carbon solutions. This is not only the right approach, but it can also give them a competitive economic advantage. As we head into the climate summit, we all have a responsibility to protect the planet for our generation and our children’s generation. We cannot wait—the costs are only rising. We have the knowledge. We understand the urgency anew with the devastation from each supertyphoon. It is now up to each and every one of us to act. Our children’s lives depend on it. Benigno Aquino III is president of the Philippines, Jim Yong Kim is World Bank Group president, and Nguyen Tan Dung is prime minister of Vietnam. Show Less -
Hanoi, September 17, 2014 – Vietnam has made great strides in expanding social health insurance, now covering more than half of its population, but reforms, such as providing premium subsidies, ... Show More +greater family enrollment and introducing catastrophic cost coverage can help the country reach universal coverage, according to a new report the World Bank released today.“Vietnam has made significant progress toward achieving universal coverage for its population, and the government has made ambitious plans toward reaching that goal.” said Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank Country Director for Vietnam. “This study shows us how Vietnam can speed up this process in order to ensure a healthy Vietnamese population while reducing the health financial burden on the poor.” The report, Moving Toward Universal Health Coverage of Social Health Insurance in Vietnam: Assessment and Options, offers a comprehensive assessment of Vietnam’s implementation of its social health insurance program, as well as recommendations on key reforms that the country can undertake to achieve universal coverage. During its preparation stage, it already contributed to the dialogue on the revision of Vietnam’s Health Insurance Law. Propelled by higher government spending in health care, the insurance program, which was piloted in 1989, has greatly boosted the number of people with health coverage. In 2010, nearly 60 percent of Vietnamese had health insurance, up from 10 percent in the early 1990s. The Master Plan for Universal Coverage, which was approved in 2012 by the Prime Minister, aims to expand coverage even further, to at least 70 percent of the population by 2015 and 80 percent by 2020. It also sets the goal of reducing patients’ out-of-pocket costs to less than 40 percent of total health care spending by 2015.But challenges remain. Despite large increases in subsidies for the near-poor, low enrollment rates persist, even among those in the formal sector, where enrollment is mandatory. Meanwhile, out-of-pocket costs still made up nearly 60 percent of health care costs in 2010, leaving households vulnerable to financial shocks. To reach the goals set out in the Master Plan, the report recommends reforms in several areas: (1) Further increasing coverage through premium subsidies, greater family enrollment and enforcement of enrollment compliance.(2) Improving equity and financial protection by cutting down on extra charges outside of policy and introducing catastrophic cost coverage(3) Strengthening health financing arrangements by ensuring money is spent more effectively and efficiently on drugs, providers etc.(4) Strengthening accountability by strengthening the organization, management and governance of social health insurance. For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org/vn Show Less -
Challenges- Enrollment rates remain low even amongst those enrollment is compulsory, such as the formal sector, and despite large increases in the partial subsidy extended to the near-poor. - In ... Show More +2010, when nearly 60% of the population was already enrolled, their out-of-pocket (OOP) share in health expenses was still almost 60%. High OOP payments leave households exposed to financial risk. Road map of reforms- Expanding the breadth of coverage: • Substantially increase general revenue financing to subsidize enrollment for the near poor and/or informal sector; • Enhance information, education and communication about health insurance to both providers and beneficiaries; • Encourage family enrollment; and • Enforce enrollment compliance in the mandatory enrollment group, particularly formal sector workers.- Improving equity and financial protection • Strengthen implementation of the co-payment policy, including grievance mechanisms; • Further reduce or waive co-payments for the poor and vulnerable groups such as ethnic minorities; and • Introduce catastrophic cost coverage.- Strengthening health financing arrangements for Social Health Insurance (SHI) • Generate additional revenues by raising tobacco taxes and gradually increasing the premium contribution rate; • Rationalize and cost out the benefits package; • Reduce inefficiencies arising from the current mix of provider payment mechanisms; and • De-fragment the procurement of and payment for pharmaceuticals.- Strengthening Organization, Management and Governance of SHI • Define the objectives of UC more clearly, and revise and define the roles and mandates of key agencies; • Strengthen the organization of SHI by putting in place a specialized SHI Division and eventually SHI Agency; • Strengthen SHI management arrangements • Strengthen SHI governance and accountability by clearly specifying financial accounting arrangements, conflict resolution arrangements and penalties. Show Less -