From 2011 to 2015, the number of poor households in Vietnam declined 2% a year.
This contributed to Vietnam’s goal of achieving sustainable economic growth while ensuring social security and improving people’s lives in remote, disadvantaged areas.
The Vietnamese government has approved a national target program on sustainable poverty reduction from now until 2020, which will cost more than US$2 billion.
The program has set a target of reducing the national poverty rate 1 to 1.5% each year based on multi-dimensional poverty criteria.
It will also try to increase the per capita income of people living under the poverty line to 50% above what it was at the end of 2015.
One of new program’s initiatives is to merge the existing national poverty reduction program supporting rapid and sustainable reduction of poverty in 61 poor districts (known as program 30a) and the program on socio-economic development in extremely poor communes in ethnic minority and mountain areas (program 135).
The poverty line is based on a number of criteria, with income as the main criterion. Under the program, support will change from free allocation or supply to provisional support in order to increase the sense of responsibility the poor have for working to escape poverty.
Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said, “Sustainable poverty reduction is one of Vietnam’s primary policies. The State encourages poor people to be determined to escape poverty, narrowing the wealth gap between regions and social strata. The effort will be successful only when all people and the political system are mobilized with the help of the international community.”
Since 2011 the Vietnamese government has promulgated many guidelines, policies, and national poverty reduction programs which ensure social security and boost economic growth.
The poverty rate nationwide decreased from 14.2% in 2010 to 4.25% last year. On average, it declined 2% per year.
Per capita income of poor households throughout Vietnam increased 6 folds compared to late 2011.
Trieu Thi Huong, a farmer engaged in a program to grow safe vegetables to reduce poverty in Bac Kan province, said, “The program aims to reduce poverty for participating families first, then for the community. When participating farmers are supported by the project, it’s not necessary to grow any special types of vegetables, just locally available vegetables. Selling prices are high and product outputs are guaranteed, so we feel more secure and our income has improved. Poverty reduction becomes really sustainable if we can stand on our two feet."
Financial resources are the key to realizing poverty reduction policies and programs.
Ngo Truong Thi, Chief of the National Office for Poverty Reduction of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs, said, “We have maps to illustrate the poverty level of each region and each province based on which agencies involved in policy- making can work out appropriate measures. The allocation of resources should recognize areas that still have a weak approach and give them more help in infrastructure investment and health insurance.”
The successful implementation of the socio-economic development and poverty reduction strategy has helped the poor access basic social services and has strengthened the infrastructure of poor districts and communes.
Vietnam’s achievements in poverty reduction have been recognized internationally and its sustainable poverty reduction demonstrates Vietnam’s determination to achieve its UN Millennium Development Goals.VOV