HA NOI (VNS)— A full VND8.8 trillion (US$419 million) was spent this year on social welfare, hunger elimination and poverty reduction, according to a report from the General Statistics Office of Viet Nam.
The report shows VND6.5 trillion ($309 million) was spent on hunger relief and the balance on social support, involving the poor and the families and mothers of fallen soldiers, invalids and others who had contributed to the independence and development of the country.
The report stated that hunger in rural areas in the period between harvests, which normally happens in March in the north, central coastal and central highlands regions, had reduced significantly over the previous year.
This year 450,000 households (1.9 million people) were affected, nearly 30 per cent less than last year. Local authorities and relevant sectors had supported the households with 22,600 tonnes of food and VND24.4 billion ($1.1 million), the report said.
The rate of poor households was estimated at around 11.5 per cent, which was 1.3 per cent less than last year.
The student loan programme, which offered poor university students preferential interest rates, had outstanding loans of VND35 trillion ($1.6 billion). The programme began five years ago and had helped 2.3 million students so far.
The report estimated the country's population this year at 88.78 million, some 1.06 per cent more than last year, made up of 43.92 million men and 44.86 million women; 59.97 million people were living in rural areas, accounting for 67.55 per cent of the total population. — VNS