VietNamNet Bridge – Poverty reduction is a priority policy for Vietnam to improve poor people’s living conditions, narrow the development gap and implement the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Deputy Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Trong Dam stated this at a ceremony in Hanoi on October 17 to announce the Prime Minister’s decision to approve the national target programme on sustainable poverty reduction for the period 2012-2015.
The event coincides with the launching of a project named ‘Support for the implementation of Resolution 80/NQ-CP on sustainable poverty reduction (2011-2020) and the national targets programme for sustainable poverty reduction (2012-2015)’ funded by the UNDP and the Republic Ireland.
In the past, Vietnam’s successful implementation of its socio-economic development strategy and poverty reduction programmes has enabled poor people to access social services, improved infrastructure in disadvantaged districts and communes and raised poor people’s standard of living, Dam said.
Vietnam’s achievements in poverty reduction have also been acknowledged by the international community, he added.
According to the UNDP’s Resident Coordinator in Vietnam, Pratibha Mehta, Vietnam’s poverty reduction rate amongst the regions and different population groups is not equal. In some areas, the poverty rate, even extreme poverty, is high, especially amongst ethnic minority groups and in coastal and mountainous areas.
She added that progress in fufiling the MDGs in ethnic minority groups is slower than the national average, while the gap between the rich and the poor is widening.
As some of the population live on the poverty line, they can become poverty stricken again if natural disasters, economic turmoil or health-related incidents happen, Mehta said.
As Vietnam has become a middle income country, poverty reduction is more complicated. As a result, it is necessary to create more jobs for young people and farmers, protect vulnerable groups and offer better social services, to ensure sustainable poverty reduction, she said.
The Vietnamese Government’s determination to implement the target on sustainable poverty reduction has been acknowledged and advocated by the international community through the UNDP and the Irish-funded project.
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