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Information technology key to alleviate poverty: seminar

Update: July, 18/2017 - 18:00
Việt Nam with other countries, UNDP and the International Telecommunication Union co-host the international conference on "Information Technology and Communication and Poverty Alleviation" on the sidelines of the United Nations Economic and Social Council high-level segment in New York on Monday. — Photo UN
Viet Nam News

NEW YORK — Việt Nam has pledged efforts to promote the application of information and communication technology (ICT) in poverty reduction and sustainable development, said Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Thế Phương. 

He made the statement at an international seminar jointly held on Monday in New York by Việt Nam, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Italy, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The event was oraganised on the sidelines of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) high-level segment. 

Việt Nam will invest VNĐ11 trillion (US$484 million) from the Public-Utility Telecommunication Service Fund by 2020 to ensure that internet and other telecommunication services are accessible to all schools, hospitals, communes, poor and near-poor households, highlighted Phương, who is also head of the Vietnamese delegation to the ECOSOC high-level segment. 

He shared Việt Nam’s challenges in the field, including capacity of local authorities, application skills of people, and data base. 

Phương added that the full involvement of the State, local people, businesses and foreign partners will speed up the country’s ICT application in poverty alleviation and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation. At the event, international representatives said that ICT is a key tool to implement SDGs, contributing to generating jobs, eradicating poverty and ensuring social welfare.

Specific experiences in ICT application were shared, including simplifying administrative procedures on land for farmers, building up the poor’s healthcare record, promoting education and vocational training and providing online financial services for production households and vulnerable groups. 

They also gave out recommendations on low-cost ICT solutions to enhance economic efficiency, governments’ support for direct dialogues between local people, businesses and ICT service providers as well as study on the possibility of latest ICT application in poverty reduction like artificial intelligence and 3D printing. Besides encouraging bilateral co-operation, the participants called for the UN’s support for developing nations through its organisations like the UNDP and ITU. 

The international seminar was initiative of Việt Nam as an ECOSOC member for 2016-18 tenure, aiming to make contributions to the discussion of the high-level segment themed “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”. — VNS

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