Khuất Văn Thành. — Photo laodongxahoi.net
Hà Nội saw achievements in accelerating sustainable poverty reduction programmes in 2018. Kinh tế & Đô thị (Economy & Urban Affairs) newspaper talks with Khuất Văn Thành, director of the city’s department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs about the progress made.
What did authorities in Hà Nội do to reduce the city’s poverty rate to 1.16 per cent in 2018 and complete the 2016-20 poverty reduction goal two years ahead of schedule?
In 2016, Hà Nội had more than 65,000 poor households, accounting for 3.64 per cent of the total population. In February 2017, the city’s People’s Committee issued Resolution No 824 on sustainable poverty reduction in the period between 2016 and 2020, aiming to reduce the percentage of poor households to under 1.2 per cent and 1.5 per cent in urban and rural areas, respectively, by 2020.
Implementing the national target programme on sustainable poverty reduction from 2016 to 2018, the city authorities have presented new policies and mechanisms to address the issue. The number of poor households has been strictly monitored.
Sub-localities have built their own poverty reduction programmes based on local conditions.
Outlying districts of Đan Phượng, Mỹ Đức, Quốc Oai and Thạch Thất have supported residents by offering cows or motorbikes.
More than VNĐ6.3 trillion (US$270.9 million) was allocated over the past three years, with some VNĐ2 trillion ($86 million) transferred to the city’s Bank for Social Policies for social welfare and financial assistance for poor households.
Social infrastructure projects in mountainous and rural areas received investment of VNĐ850 billion ($36.55 million) from the State budget.
In 2016 and 2017, the Hà Nội Chapter of the Việt Nam Fatherland Front mobilised more than VNĐ13 billion ($559,000) for the Fund for the Poor while districts’ authorities raised VNĐ102.7 billion ($4.4 million).
In 2018, Hà Nội authorities helped 4,166 poor households build their own houses, achieving 103 per cent of the goal set. How did Hà Nội achieve this?
Housing assistance is a part of our sustainable poverty reduction programme. In 2016 to 2017, nearly 2,000 poor households received support to repair and build houses from the public fund.
In 2018 alone, we set a plan to assist 4,046 poor households in 15 districts with investment of VNĐ202 billion ($8.7 million).
Local branches of the Việt Nam Bank for Social Policies offered each poor household an interest-free loan of 25 million ($1,075) while local authorities gave out additional financial assistance of VNĐ10 million ($430) for homes needing repair and VNĐ20 million for new homes to be built.
Until mid-October 2018, 4,166 houses were built and repaired at a cost of VNĐ423.5 billion ($18.2 million) with the support from local authorities, enterprises and organisations, aiming to leave no one behind.
Four districts of Cầu Giấy, Ba Đình, Tây Hồ and Thanh Xuân are now free of poor households. What are the plans going forward?
Poverty reduction was set as a mission. Therefore, subsidiaries are asked to set up realistic solutions to improve the economy and sustainably reduce poverty. Some of them even set to help all current poor households escape from poverty.
Ba Đình District, for example, had 435 poor households in the beginning of 2018. By last October, the number dropped to zero.
At the end of 2018, the percentage of poor households in Hà Nội was only 1.16. In 2019, the city aims to help some 3,500 more households escape from poverty. — VNS