|The delegates gather at the fifth International Seminar on Regional Network on Poverty Eradication yesterday in HCM City. — Photo hochiminhcity
HCM CITY (VNS) — At the fifth International Seminar on Regional Network on Poverty Eradication (RENPER 5), which opened yesterday in HCM City, foreign and Vietnamese academics are presenting proposals that could help Viet Nam and other countries reduce its poverty rate.
"RENPER fosters co-operative initiatives among universities through international seminars, conferences and forums. It also triggers co-operation among governments, NGOS and private organisations in facilitating existing programmes and strategies in poverty reduction," Associate Professor Ly Hoang Anh, president of the Banking University of HCM City, and chairman of RENPER 5, told the seminar attendees.
Since 1986, Viet Nam, with a per capita income below US$100, has risen to become a middle low-income country, with per capita income of $1,960 in 2013, leading to a drop in the poverty rate from over 70 per cent to less than 20 per cent.
However, poverty-reduction programmes are still urgently needed, as the wealth-gap among regions has not narrowed, and the proportion of poor ethnic minorities accounts for almost 50 per cent of poor households in Viet Nam.
In addition, the poverty rate in urban areas has increased due to rapid urbanisation, and a new risk of rural and coastal areas falling into poverty again has emerged.
"Poverty reduction is one of the significant targets of huge concern for the Vietnamese Government as well as the people. The Government still faces a number of difficulties and challenges that need to be overcome," said Luong Ngoc Bich of the Banking University of HCM City.
Professor Hj Ibrahim Che Omar, director of the Kelantan Jeli campus of the University of Malaysia, and general chairman of RENPER, said RENPER was created to raise awareness among communities and provide opportunities for academics to play an active role in overcoming problems associated with poverty.
"It is hoped that this seminar will focus on creating collaborative initiatives among academicians from participating universities, which will lead to joint research and publication," he added.
Over 80 policymakers, researchers and scholars from public organisations, international organisations, research institutes and universities in South and Southeast Asia are presenting their research and solutions to poverty eradication in the region. — VNS