Nation focuses on long-term poverty reduction strategy
HA NOI (VNS)– Viet Nam would focus on sustainable poverty reduction from 2012-15 under a National Target Programme recently approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
|Bamboo weaving, a traditional craft of Bao La Village in central Thua Thien- Hue Province's Quang Dien District, has helped to raise people out of poverty by providing them with extra income. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Thuy
Nguyen Trong Dam, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said that the programme on sustainable poverty reduction prioritised people living in the most disadvantaged areas.
The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) said that there would also be specific policies for other groups including old-aged people, the disabled and orphans.
Head of the ministry's Co-ordination Office for the Poverty Reduction Programme Ngo Truong Thi said at the meeting in Ha Noi yesterday that the programme was part of national socio-economic development, in which Viet Nam planned to spend around VND27 trillion (US$1.3 billion) to increase the average income of poor households nationwide by 160 per cent during the 2012-15 period.
It aims to reduce the number of poor households by 2 per cent each year, build roads in 60 per cent of villages and communes nationwide and supply electricity to over 90 per cent of the population.
Most of the programme's funding comes from the State Budget. The rest comes from local budgets and international aid organisations.
Thi said that previous programmes had failed to mention sustainable poverty reduction since the focus at that time was on hunger elimination.
"But now we need to focus on sustainable poverty reduction to avoid reducing poverty this year but allowing it to increase next year," he said.
Thi added that providing allowances was just a short term measure. Policies previously issued to tackle poverty would be reviewed to limit overlapping in management and implementation, he said.
Pratibha Mehta, the United Nations Resident Co-ordinator in Viet Nam, said that the pace of poverty reduction was not equal among regions and population groups.
In some places, the poverty rate was still high and chronic poverty persisted, particularly among ethnic minorities and in the mountainous and coastal areas' poorest communities.
A substantial part of the population still lived very close to poverty line, she said.
"Any shock, be it a natural disaster, or an economic or health related event, could push them back into poverty," she said.
Children, women, and non-registered migrants and the near poor in disadvantaged areas were at a much higher risk of sliding back or deeper into poverty, she said.
"Tacking challenges in poverty reduction in the coming years will require tailored and multi-sectoral approaches, where poverty is viewed as a multi-dimensional phenomenon, not just in monetary terms", she said.
More sustainable and inclusive growth, which would create more jobs for under-employed youths and farmers, provide social protection for vulnerable groups, and better quality social services, was key to sustained progress in poverty reduction in Viet Nam, she added.
Viet Nam should keep in mind the daily challenges of the near-poor, who were at risk of falling back into poverty, and create opportunities for unemployed and under-employed youth who would define the future of this country, she said.
The country had about three million households below the poverty line and 1.5 million households close to the poverty line, according to statistics from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
In Viet Nam, poor households must have an average monthly income below VND400,000 ($19) in rural areas and VND500,000 ($24) in urban areas.
Near-poor households in rural areas earn an average income of VND401,000 -520,000 ($19-$25) per month. In urban areas, the cut off is VND501,000-650,000 ($24-$31). — VNS
Month for the Poor
HA NOI — The Viet Nam Fatherland Front launched its "Month for the Poor" campaign yesterday, on the same day as International Day for Eradication of Poverty and National Day for the Poor.
Statistics from the Front showed that organisations and individuals donated up to VND4.4 trillion (US$210 million) for the poor in the first nine months of the year.
At the ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh called upon domestic and international organisations and individuals to support the Fund and other social welfare programmes.
On the same day, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Ireland's Irish Aid donated US$10 million to help Viet Nam on sustainable poverty reduction. — VNS