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Poverty reduction efforts leave poor behind: Oxfam

Update: June, 21/2014 - 09:22
An irrigation work underway in the Bac Ai District, Ninh Thuan Province, with funding from national poverty reduction Programme 30A. An Oxfram report reveals inefficient use of the programme's funds in some localities. — VNA/VNS Photo Cong Thu

HA NOI (VNS) — A survey released yesterday showed that many among Viet Nam's poor do not benefit from the national poverty reduction Programme 30A, which has been implemented since 2008.

The survey by Oxfam Viet Nam randomly polled 1,440 households in three among Viet Nam's poorest districts of Si Ma Cai (northern Lao Cai Province), Tuong Duong (Nghe An Province) and Ba To (central Quang Ngai Province) during the period of 2012 and 2013.

According to the survey, only 17 households said they had received some kind of payment as incentive to protect forests and generate livelihood from forest.

Under the 30A programme, participating households can earn VND200,000 per hectare per year to protect forests, and poor households can receive 15kg rice as supplemental assistance.

In Si Ma Cai District, the survey found that most communes had only sent around three people to work abroad and in many communes in Ba To District, that number was zero. This means many people do not benefit from the scheme to send workers abroad for poverty reduction.

While most of the budget from Programme 30A focuses on infrastructure transport projects, many residents reportedly said there should be more funding on infrastructure projects that generate clean water and support healthcare development.

For example, in Si Ma Cai District, between 2009 and 2011 only 18.18 per cent of the total budget for infrastructure (VND8.9 billion) was spent on projects that generate clean water.

Paul Schuler, from the University of California at San Diego and head of the research group for the Oxfam survey said the 30A programme lacks independent evaluation on its effectiveness in each beneficiary district.

The survey recommends that the programme should have a better monitoring and evaluation process, focus on infrastructure needs of residents instead of just focusing on roads and transportation projects, implement training and agricultural extension courses by local language, among others.

The national 30A programme was implemented in 2008 for 64 poorest districts. From 2009 to 2011, the State budget allocated a total of VND8.5 trillion ($405 million) towards the poverty reduction programme implemented under Resolution 30a. — VNS

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