The Government of the United States of America (hereinafter referred to as the “Government of the United States”) and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (hereinafter referred to as the “Government of Vietnam”) (hereinafter referred to separately as “Side” or together as “the two Sides”) with the wish to collaborate in combating HIV/AIDS and supporting health care on the principles of collaboration, equity, and mutual benefit, hereby support the following principles and objectives:
In the past two decades, Vietnam has experienced unprecedented economic growth and a rapid rise in living standards. It has undergone a population boom with nearly two-thirds of the country’s 86 million people under the age of 35 years. Injecting drug use is the main behavior driving HIV transmission in Vietnam. Surveillance surveys estimate that nearly 41% of persons who inject drugs in high-prevalence provinces are living with HIV. While the prevalence rate is 0.43% among people between the ages 15 and 49, Vietnam continues to work hard to limit transmission into the general population. The Government of Vietnam and the Government of the United States work closely together to support policy reform as well as to continue to invest in training and quality assurance of technical strategies and health policies as part of PEPFAR Vietnam’s goal to strengthen the country’s healthcare systems.
This Partnership Framework recognizes that the national response to HIV/AIDS in Vietnam is led by the Government of Vietnam. The Partnership Framework follows on from the Action Plan under the Bilateral Agreement on HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment for 2006-2008, and supports the 2006 Bilateral Agreement on Health and Medical Sciences Cooperation.
This Partnership Framework is to provide a strategic approach for collaboration in combating HIV/AIDS and supporting health care for people living with HIV in Vietnam from October 2010 to September 2015.
The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), in the context of this Partnership Framework, is to include both the Government of the United States’ bilateral support to Vietnam and, as its single largest donor, multilateral support provided through the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Global Fund’).
The principles for collaboration under this framework aim to identify roles and responsibilities of the stakeholders involved in PEPFAR to support a mechanism for coordination, cooperation, implementation, and information exchange among all partners in the program; and to strengthen country ownership and sustainability in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
This Partnership Framework supports the Government of Vietnam to successfully implement the following priorities:
The overarching purpose of the Partnership Framework is to provide a strategic agenda for cooperation between the two Sides and continue a joint commitment for the reduction of new HIV infections, improved HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment services, and mitigation of the impact in Vietnam, while contributing substantially to fundamental health systems strengthening.
Goals, objectives and commitments in this Partnership Framework are to be listed in the Partnership Framework Implementation Plan, which should also prospectively measure performance, as mutually determined by the two Sides.
The Partnership Framework is to address access to and the quality and sustainability of HIV/AIDS services, through three goals.
Goal 1: Strengthen the quality of and increase access to prevention services for people at risk, and prevention, care, and treatment services for people affected by or living with HIV.
Goal 2: Support the provision of sustainable HIV/AIDS services through strengthening systems for people’s health and related welfare.
Goal 3: Broaden and strengthen the national response to HIV/AIDS to support people’s health and related welfare
The Government of the United States is to designate the Department of State as the coordinating agency for this Partnership Framework. The Ambassador of the United States to Vietnam is to be responsible for coordinating all United States Government programs. The Government of Vietnam is to designate the Ministry of Health as the coordinating agency for this Partnership Framework.
The implementing United States government organizations are to be the United States Agency for International Development; the Department of Health and Human Services, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration, and Health Resources and Services Administration; Department of Defense, Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Labor.
The implementing Government of Vietnam organizations are to be members of the National Committee for AIDS, Drug and Prostitution Prevention and Control, including: Office of the Government, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs, Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Education and Training, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Committee for Ethnic Affairs, Vietnam Fatherland Front, Vietnam Women’s Union, Vietnam General Labor Federation (Trade Union), Farmer Federation, and People’s Committee of the provinces and cities directly under the central Government.
The development of annual work plans and of new programs should be reviewed by the two Sides and should be coordinated and harmonized with other donor programs in Vietnam. The two Sides should both be represented on teams to monitor and evaluate the program.
The Government of Vietnam is to be informed of the process for the selection of PEPFAR implementing partners and is to be invited to participate as permitted by U.S. government procurement regulations. PEPFAR implementing partners should be responsible for submitting semi-annual and annual reports to PEPFAR and the Government of Vietnam in formats mutually decided upon by the two Sides.
Drugs, commodities, and biomedical products required for prevention and control and other related health activities are to be exempted from value-added tax and from such other taxes as are stipulated by law.
The two Sides recognize that the resources of Government of the United States and of the Government of Vietnam are limited and investments are subject to the availability of funds. The achievement of the Partnership goals needs resource flows beyond the ability of any one partner. Constraints on the availability of funding from either Side or from other principal partners may lead to a review and revision of goals.
Over time, the Government of the United States intends to provide an increasing proportion of technical assistance to Vietnam as the financial contribution for service delivery is to be increasingly borne by the national budget and other sources in Vietnam. The Government of Vietnam’s contributions to its HIV/AIDS national program are to be increased annually. Additional details regarding each Side’s financial or in-kind contributions to programs under the Partnership Framework are to be stipulated in the Partnership Framework Implementation Plan.
The goals and commitments for the Partnership Framework should be expanded in an Implementation Plan that is to specify the activities, commitments, indicators, and targets to achieve the goals and objectives.
The Implementation Plan should be developed by a design team that includes representatives of the Government of the United States and the Government of Vietnam. It should include a process of consultation with ministries, Provincial AIDS Centers, Technical Working Groups, agencies of the Government of the United States and their partners, the Joint United Nations Team on HIV, the World Bank, the Country Coordinating Mechanism of the Global Fund, and other donors and social organizations involved in HIV/AIDS programs. The design team should meet on a regular basis to clarify expected contributions from both Sides, as well as other donors and organizations, to the Implementation Plan. Both Sides are to work in a concerted and transparent manner to support the harmonization of the Partnership Framework Implementation Plan with the National Strategy for HIV, Global Fund supported activities, and other donor programs to ensure that contributions support program sustainability.
The two Sides are to be responsible for accelerating the design and development of the Implementation Plan for it to be signed and approved by October 2010. The Implementation Plan is to be subject to changes when the new National Strategy for HIV/AIDS is approved.
The Government of Vietnam and the Government of the United States have developed effective mechanisms for joint oversight of current PEPFAR interventions, within the context of mutual respect, shared responsibility, and collaboration.
A Partnership Framework Steering Committee is to be established to facilitate the collaboration process of the partnership. The Steering Committee should include officials assigned by the Government of Vietnam and the Government of the United States, as well as representation from the United Nations and other donors to assist with joint work planning and to optimize efficiency.
Using the Partnership Framework as a foundation, and based on input from the stakeholders referenced and the technical perspectives of all involved Government of Vietnam and Government of the United States agencies, the two Sides are to undertake monitoring of program planning, implementation, and financial management. The two Sides should have joint responsibility for sharing guidance, implementation, and evaluation of the program.
The Government of Vietnam and the Government of the United States are to designate Co-Chairs of the Partnership Framework Steering Committee. The Co-Chairs are to be responsible for coordinating communications and activities with agency counterparts and for ensuring that implementation is directed to fulfil the goals of this Partnership Framework.
The Steering Committee should carry out annual reviews to determine program progress, lessons learned, and best practices as a basis for performance feedback or revisions to the Partnership Framework Implementation Plan. The Steering Committee should also convene on a semi-annual basis to monitor results and re-align planned activities as needed.
Nothing in this Partnership Framework is to constitute an obligation of funds by the Government of the United States.
This Partnership Framework is not an international agreement and does not give rise to international legal rights or obligations.
Signed in two copies, in the English and Vietnamese languages, with each text being equally official.
This Partnership Framework is signed in Hanoi, Vietnam on the twenty-second day of July, in the year two thousand and ten, and is effective as of the date of signature.
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