Sweden has pledged to provide an additional 75 million krone (11 million USD) to phase two of Chia Se Poverty Alleviation Programme from 2009-2011.

The agreement was signed in Hanoi on Nov. 30 by Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Cao Viet Sinh and Swedish Ambassador to Vietnam Rolf Bergman furthering the efforts of the programme established in 2003. Phase one of Chia Se focused on the reduction of poverty that in turn helped Vietnam to create a sustainable and equitable society.

Under the agreement, the programme will be carried out in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang and the central province of Quang Tri to assist 50 communes in human resource development.

Addressing the signing ceremony, Swedish Ambassador Rolf Bergman described the signing of the agreement as a special case based on the two countries’ friendship and positive achievements gained in phase 1.

Deputy Minister Cao Viet Sinh said after five years of implementation, the programme’s phase 1 had great impacts on beneficiary localities, including Ha Giang, Yen Bai and Quang Tri provinces.

Sinh added that the programme decreased the poverty rate and improved people’s spiritual life and rural infrastructure.

Signed on the occasion of the 40 th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties, the agreement affirmed Sweden’s continued support for Vietnam’s socio-economic development and poverty reduction./.