Livelihoods and Climate Change

The Issue

Over 12 million people in Vietnam continue to suffer from poverty.

Despite recent strides in economic development, poverty continues to persist in Vietnam. Today, poverty is highly concentrated in rural areas and agricultural households. A whopping 90% of the country’s poor is located in rural areas. Due to their remoteness, rural households often have difficulty accessing information, markets, public services, and education. For landless families, limited education and skills means they have few options for employment.

Poverty disproportionately affects vulnerable groups, particularly ethnic minorities. While the 53 ethnic groups make up only 15% of the overall population, they account for nearly half of the country’s poor.

Rural and poor households are especially vulnerable to shocks and exposed to natural disasters. Vietnam is prone to natural disasters, such as tropical storms and flooding. The severity and frequency of these events is only worsening with the effects of climate change. Further, salt water intrusion is destroying once fertile rice paddies, leaving farmers struggling to make a living.

Our Work

At AOP Vietnam, we focus on equipping men and women with the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty and build resilience to climate change. We apply an assets-based approach to enhance what communities already have for sustainable development.

  • To help communities make economic decisions, we offer economic empowerment and financial management trainings.
  • To help communities build their resilience against shocks and climate change, we offer advice and technical support to diversify their sources of income and select climate adaptive models.
  • To help communities increase their income, we offer trainings to add value to products and microloans to women.
  • To help communities better their environment, we engage with local leaders to improve management and work with school children to improve awareness about environmental protection.

Our Impacts

  • 250 farmers participated in an economic empowerment competition
  • 1700 women have access to microloans through the Community Development Fund and the Vietnam Saving and Loans Associations

Project In-Depth: Community-Based Tourism (CBT)

Our Community-Based Tourism (CBT) project offers a unique, adventure travel experience while making a lasting social impact in the community.

The Context

In mountainous Hoa Binh province, flooding from a hydroelectric dam displaced tens of thousands of ethnic minorities. Living conditions in the upland are harsh. In this beautiful landscape, much of the population lived in poverty.

Our Intervention

At AOP Vietnam, we saw an opportunity in the lush landscape and rich ethnic cultures for socially and environmentally responsible tourism.

Through our CBT project in Da Bac district, we’ve:

  • Assisted families to convert traditional Muong stilt houses into homestays
  • Provided cooking, hospitality, English, and business management classes
  • Support local service groups, promoting traditional dance, local products, and a traditional Dao embroidery group

Not only have we seen incomes rise, but confidence and social cohesion in the community have also soared.

We’re proud to have our CBT project move into its next stage, as Da Bac CBT registered as a social enterprise and we scale out to neighbouring Phu Tho province.

To learn more about our CBT project or to book your trip, visit

Action on Poverty

Action on Poverty