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Financial services expanded for ethnic minority women

Hanoi, 12 June 2018 – CARE International in Vietnam and Procter & Gamble (P&G) today launch a new project called Reach to Excel to support the economic empowerment of ethnic minority women in Hoa Binh, Son La, Dien Bien and Bac Kan provinces.

With a total budget of 200,000 USD, the project will be implemented by CARE, Vietnam Women’s Union, Dien Bien Center for Community Development and other local partners from 2018-2019. The project will exploit CARE’s long-term experience in enabling Vietnam’s ethnic minority communities to better access micro-finance services, using CARE’s signature tool developed in 1990s – Village Savings and Loan Association, or VSLA.

85-95 per cent of nearly 600 Village Savings and Loan Associations that CARE has helped to set up since 2010 in Vietnam continue to operate on their own without CARE's continued support. Credit: Vu Thi Huong Giang/CARE

Reach to Excel is part of We See Equal, a global campaign by P&G, a leading corporation in fast consumer goods whose key clients are women. We See Equal highlights the importance of a diverse and inclusive working environment where women can develop their capacities, an objective that P&G is realising internally and expanding beyond the corporation. To achieve this, P&G has carried out communication campaigns and brand advertising to raise the discussions on gender discrimination and gender stereotypes. P&G is also working with international and local organisations to eliminate barriers women face in education and economic development. This is also the reason why P&G has selected Reach to Excel project to support economic development and gender equality for ethnic minority women in remote and mountainous areas.

In Vietnam, a 2011 study by the World Bank indicated that only 21 per cent of adults have access to official financial services, the lowest rate in South East Asia. In addition, most of these services are only available in urban areas. Current providers include the Bank for Social Policies, Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, and the People’s Credit Fund. However, poor women in ethnic minority areas are yet to access these services, so they lack a channel for savings and loans that are crucial for their everyday life and production.

CARE research shows huge gaps between ethnic minority women and the resources necessary for their economic empowerment. The Reach to Excel project therefore will support ethnic minority women and their family to improve their well-being via increased access to financial services. We will achieve this by helping the women to save via the Village Savings and Loan Associations and increasing their capacity to manage family incomes and expenditure,” said Mr. Le Xuan Hieu, Portfolio Manager at CARE International in Vietnam.

Participants in the Media Briefing on Reach to Excel project, Hanoi, 12 June 2018. Credit: Le Xuan Tung/CARE

Ms. Le Thi Tuyet Mai, Public Relations Director at P&G Vietnam, said,` “We are pleased to cooperate with CARE in the Reach to Excel project. Empowering and enhancing women’s capacities are among our top corporate social responsibility priorities. Gender equality is in our DNA. At P&G, we practice women empowerment internally as well as where we operate globally just as reflected in the spirit of We See Equal campaign. We do not just make it possible for female staff to fulfil their potentials but also get engaged in community projects to enhance women’s development, especially women’s economic empowerment.”

Reach to Excel project is among many projects that CARE International in Vietnam has implemented to improve women’s economic empowerment, which has been increasingly recognized by Vietnamese political leaders, organisations and enterprises as a critical element in gender equality and in promoting women’s contributions and voice in economic development within the family, community and the whole country.

Media contact:

Vu Thi Huong Giang, Communications Specialist

CARE International in Vietnam

Tel: 0902141200

Email: vuthihuong.giang@care.org.vn

Le Thi Tuyet Mai, Public Relations Director

P&G Vietnam

Tel: 84-8-3521 4548

Email: mai.lt@pg.com

About CARE International in Vietnam

CARE is an international humanitarian aid organisation fighting global poverty and social injustice.

In Vietnam, CARE has implemented nearly 300 projects in over 40 provinces nationwide. At present, CARE works with communities, local and central governments, international and national organisations and individuals to bring lasting change to vulnerable populations, especially women, by address the root causes of poverty and social injustice. At the same time, CARE continues to deliv­er humanitarian and emergency assistance in times of crisis such as natural disasters.

Previously, CARE International worked in Vietnam from 1954 to 1975 to address immediate needs by supporting local food supply, health care and education. From 1989-2015, CARE International in Vietnam has supported agricultural and rural development, livelihood creation, community development, health care and reproductive health, HIV/ AIDS prevention and control, disaster risk reduction and mitigation, climate change response, emergency relief and rehabilitation, water and sanitation, and the ad­vancement of gender equality.

Website: www.care.org.vn

Click here to download photos of VSLA activities and here to watch a clip about how VSLA help ethnic minority women.

About Procter & Gamble Vietnam (P&G Vietnam):

P&G started its operation in Vietnam in 1995 with a registered capital of 360 million USD and a commitment to improving lives for Vietnamese consumers. The company has 3 factories of international standards in Binh Duong province, where it produces a wide range of health care and cosmetics products, including popular brands as Ariel, Downy, Head and Shoulders, Pantene, Rejoice, Tide, Pampers, or Gillette. In investing in research and development, P&G products are trusted by Vietnamese consumers and are always present in their daily lives.

In addition to achieving positive growth rates, P&G Vietnam has been granted various awards, including a 2nd class Labour Medal by Vietnam’s President and a Certificate of Merit by the Prime Minister for its outstanding business achievements, strict observation of the legal regulations, and contributions to community development. To get more updated and detailed information about P%G Vietnam, kindly visit the website: https://www.pg.com/vn/