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Efforts to sustain poverty reduction

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Efforts to sustain poverty reduction

QĐND – Sunday, October 17, 2010, 20:41 (GMT+7)

Vietnam has tried very hard to reduce its poverty rate and assist the poor and the Vietnam Fatherland Front has held the ‘Day for the Poor’ for ten years.

The movement has made very encouraging achievements through active response from various groups of Vietnamese people, organizations and businesses inside and outside the country.

The movement has mobilized many resources worth trillions of Vietnam dong to assist the poor with production materials and food between crops. The Fund for the Poor has helped to build almost one million houses for more than four million poor people.

Tens of millions of poor people have received money to buy bicycles and pay for education. They were also given regular and emergency medical treatment. Millions of poor households were granted preferential credit whiles tens of thousands of poor people received free vocational training.

They have also been provided with free health insurance cards and legal assistance.

The State has continually written and issued comprehensive policies to cover the basic demands of the poor and has many different channels for assistance.

However, more is still needed to maintain the results of poverty reduction as many people who have escaped from poverty are in danger of relapsing, especially after natural disasters, epidemics or economic shocks. Under the new criteria for poverty from now until 2015, Vietnam will have 3.3 million poor households or about 15 million poor people.

One measure that has been effective in addressing this issue is using mass media to raise public awareness and encourage poor people to rise out of poverty.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

US$150 million for 9th Poverty Reduction programme

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2010 at 7:19 pm

US$150 million for 9th Poverty Reduction programme

QĐND – Friday, July 30, 2010, 20:55 (GMT+7)

The Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), Nguyen Van Giau, and the World Bank (WB)’s Acting Country Director, Alain Barbu, signed an agreement and deals concerning the 9th Poverty Reduction Support Credit programme (PRSC 9) for Vietnam, worth US$150 million, in Hanoi on July 29.

This credit level shows the WB’s commitment to continuing to assist Vietnam’s economic development and campaign to reduce poverty.

The PRSC 9 officially started in November, 2009 and is the fourth programme in the five-year plan (PRSC 6-10) to support Vietnam carrying out its Socio-Economic Development Plan (SEDP) for the 2006-2010 period.  

The programme focuses on business development, social integration, the management of natural resources and instituting a modern national administration.

The amount of credit for the PRSC 9 has been provided with a loan term of 35 years. So far, the total amount of credit the WB has authorised Vietnam through the PRSC has reached US$1.475 billion.

As scheduled, nine bilateral and multilateral sponsors will take part in the PRSC 9 programme in form of preferential loans or non-refundable assistance.

This support will be incorporated in the state budget and used to realise national targets, including alleviating hunger, reducing poverty and promoting economic growth.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Website on poverty reduction makes debut

In Uncategorized on May 6, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Website on poverty reduction makes debut

QĐND – Thursday, May 06, 2010, 21:37 (GMT+7)

A website providing information about poverty reduction in the country’s 62 poorest districts officially made its debut in Hanoi on May 6.

Ngo Truong Thi, Vice Director of the Department of Social Protection under the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), said the website is designed to provide official, timely and comprehensive information about the implementation of the government’s Resolution 30A regarding rapid and sustainable poverty reduction in the targeted districts.

Along with introducing concerned documents, the website, at, will keep readers updated on the progress of implementing the programme as well as experiences of outstanding individuals who successfully escape from poverty.

According to MoLISA, after one year of performing the resolution, the rate of poor households in these districts dropped from 47 percent in 2008 to 43 percent in late 2009.

The government earmarked almost 5.43 trillion VND for the poor districts to carry out Resolution 30A in 2009 and 2010, reported the ministry.

Forty-two State-owned groups, corporations and businesses pledged to grant more than 2.1 trillion VND to support the districts in the 2009-2020 period, of which 723 billion VND was doled out in 2009.

By the end of the first quarter of 2010, the beneficiary districts had built over 73,000 houses for poor families, 167 district-level infrastructure projects and 520 commune-level works.

As part of the programme, a total of 180,000 poor households were provided with free-of-charge saplings and animals for farming and rice as food.

Enterprises joined hands with local authorities to send almost 1,700 poor workers to Libya, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, where they have earned a stable income of between 4-6.5 million VND a month.

In terms of personnel, 14 provinces sent 240 young officials from provincial and district-level agencies to work in the poor districts.

The programme has set a target of reducing the number of poor households in the districts to 40 percent by the end of 2010 and to the regional average by 2020.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Poverty reduction plan success

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Poverty reduction plan success

QĐND – Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 22:7 (GMT+7)

Poverty reduction has been successful in remote mountainous regions thanks to National Programme 135, Ksor Phuoc, chairman of the National Assembly Council of Nationalities, told the National Assembly Standing Committee on April 12.

Fact-finding tours of 22 provinces, 44 districts and 50 communes that were classified as “especially disadvantaged” over the last four years revealed that incomes had increased markedly while local infrastructure had been developed, Phuoc said.

“This success should be attributed to the efficient integration of Programme 135 and other national targeted projects, as well as projects directly linked to poverty reduction in regions,” Phuoc emphasised.

“The yearly average per capita income of people living in these disadvantaged areas is about 3.5 million VND (180 USD). The number of poor households dropped to 31 percent in 2009 from 47 percent in early 2006. The target is for that figure to fall below 30 percent,” Phuoc said.

The second phase of the five-year programme, which ends this year, has a budget of 14 trillion VND (875 million USD). Of that figure, 450 million USD came from seven foreign donors, including the World Bank, Finland, Ireland, the European Commission and the United Nations Development Programme. The remainder came from the State and local budgets.

Based on what has been achieved in the last four years, it is likely that by the end of 2010 when the second phase of the programmes comes to an end, key targets, such as infrastructure development and poverty reduction will have been met, Phuoc said.

“The per annum reduction of poor households is rapid, but not sustainable. They [residents] are likely to become poor again if they are hit by natural disasters,” Phuoc said.

Tran The Vuong, chairman of the National Assembly’s Ombudsmen, said it was important to ensure that poverty alleviation programmes did not work against on another.

“By doing so we’ll be able to avoid overlapping of programmes,” Vuong said.

“An indispensable part of a comprehensive poverty reduction programme is its sustainability.”

Truong Thi Mai, chairwoman of the National Assembly Committee on Social Affairs, asked ministries to share information on poverty reduction campaigns.

“Most of the projects focus on infrastructure development. While the disbursement rate was very high, projects to directly help the people escape poverty moved at a snail’s pace,” Mai said.

She added that the Government should apply different sets of criteria for poor households in the plains and mountainous regions.

“There cannot be one criteria applied to all,” she said.

Le Quang Binh, chairman of the Committee on National Defence and Security, said that it was important to ensure that the best use is made of the limited funds available.

“Instead of investing in 2,850 communes and 25,000 hamlets as at present, we should invest in several hundred communes in a year and then scale up the next year, “ Binh said.

Ha Hung, vice chairman of the Council of Nationalities, said more funding should be made available to tackle poverty in remote regions.

“Because of the low investment capital, in many communes of they want to build a road they have to give up their wish of having a health care centre or an irrigation project,” Hung said.

The report concluded that the Government should continue to invest in socio-economic development in the programme’s third phase from 2011-15.

The second phase of Programme 135 was implemented in 1,946 communes.

The meeting was chaired by National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong.

Members of the National Assembly Committee discussed the amended Trade Unions Law on April 12 in Hanoi.

According to Dang Ngoc Tung, President of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour, the law, which has been in place for the last 19 years, has been crucial to the proper functioning of the union.

However, he said some articles of the law were no longer relevant.

Tung said the amended law would consist of six chapters and 34 articles.

The NA Legal Committee’s report supported the amendments to the law, saying that it was essential to amend the law during the country’s process of industrialisation and modernisation.

The report also said that it was crucial to accurately define the role and tasks of a union to ensure the rights of officials and workers.

Tran The Vuong, chairman of the Ombudsman Committee, said the work of the unions should be reviewed to better serve the workers.

Meanwhile, Vuong said the trade union should be supported by the employers. He said the union should work for a harmonious, stable and developed relationship between employers and employees.

Vuong and deputy Truong Thi Mai, chairwoman of the NA’s Social Affairs Committee, said that about 50 articles relating to the Trade Union Law were also mentioned in the Amended Labour Code.

According to Mai, about 3,000 strikes occurred over the last 10 years – none of them legally.

Under the current regulations, workers have the right to strike when industrial action is organised by their local trade unions or their representatives in the case of enterprises which do not have a union.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

VN achieves 2009 birth rate reduction goal

In Vietnam Society on December 21, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Vietnam’s birth rate in 2009 has fallen to just 1.2 percent, achieving the target set by the National Assembly, the General Office For Population Family Planning said on December 20.

Newborn babies at a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam’s birth rate in 2009 slides to just 1.2 percent, the lowest level in the last decade. (Photo: SGGP)

General Office head Dr. Duong Quoc Trong said it is the biggest success rate of population planning achieved in the last 10 years.

In 2000, the rate was 1.36 percent.

In addition, infant deaths under one year of age fell from 36.7 percent in 2000 to just 15 percent this year.

The human development index (HDI) reached 0.73 points, which is higher than the target set in the population strategy for the phase 2001-2010.

However, the General Office said there is still much to be done in terms of enhancing the overall health of the population and controlling gender imbalances in newborn babies.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Challenges for poverty reduction

In Social life on October 18, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Challenges for poverty reduction

QĐND – Sunday, October 18, 2009, 20:41 (GMT+7)

Vietnam has been acknowledged internationally for its extraordinary efforts to reduce poverty over the past years. However, there remain challenges ahead and a greater effort should be made to ensure the success of the national poverty reduction programme.

The government has approved the national programme on poverty reduction which aims to lower the rate of poor households from 18.6 percent in 2006 to 10-11 percent in 2010 (or 2 percent annually on average). This goal seems to be within reach as the rate fell to around 13 percent at the end of last year. However, there is growing concern about the negative effects of a rapid increase in the consumer price index (CPI) and the global economic recession on people’s incomes and social welfare. These effects have not yet been calculated in the government’s official statistics on poverty.

Ngo Truong Thi, deputy head of the Social Protection Department under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), says the national poverty reduction programme has been drawn up to benefit the most vulnerable groups in society. To make it effective, it is necessary to identify their needs, and the poor themselves have to actively participate in the programme.

Though the government has pooled many resources and issued incentive policies for the poor, the results of the programme varied between regions, especially in the most disadvantaged areas where the poverty reduction rate was the lowest.  

To formulate appropriate policies, policymakers must make fact-finding trips to poor districts because the needs differ widely between them. A typical example is Tram Tau district in the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai where more than 90 percent of its forest land has not been exploited. The district also faces harsh weather, especially during the winter. Therefore, mechanisms for poverty reduction in Tram Tau are different from those for other areas.

Trinh Quang Trinh, director of the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs of Lao Cai province – another locality in the northern mountainous region – says the provincial administration has set a target of reducing the poverty rate by 2.5-3 percent a year. But a powerful storm swept across the province in August 2008, causing huge damage, and it consequently raised the poverty rate, notably by 1.2 percent in Bac Ha and Sa Pa districts.

Like Tram Tau, other poor districts in the central and Central Highland regions face many storms and floods every year which severely damage local infrastructure such as roads, schools and medical stations. As a result, large numbers of people who have just escaped poverty, relapse into poverty again.

Although Vietnam has been acknowledged by the international community for its poverty reduction efforts, there remain difficulties and challenges lying ahead.

Dang Kim Trung, deputy director of the Labour and Science Institute, says the national programme has so far focused on the figures rather than the quality.

“The programme should meet its set criteria of improving the quality of life for poor people and providing them with basic services such as health care, education and vocational training,” says Mr Trung.

Meanwhile, Mr Thi from MoLISA says the next phase of the programme will focus on the quality of poverty reduction. “We continue to give instructions to agencies and localities to ensure the programme will meet its criteria in terms of both quantity and quality,” says Mr Thi.

The lack of information is another factor reducing the efficiency of the programme.

“We have not paid particular attention to disseminating policies on poverty reduction to beneficiaries, so intensive communication campaigns will be launched in the near future,” says the MoLISA official. “We want to share experiences with the media and non-governmental organisations to make communications more effective.”
Source: VOV

Source: QDND Bookmark & Share

Poverty reduction plan revamped

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2008 at 12:27 pm

The Government is putting more into infrastructure so the poor can help themselves.

The rate of poor households is estimated to decrease to 13 per cent from 14 per cent last year. The State plans to keep this trend going and help the poor by promoting their economic production and businesses, and pulling money from aid and putting it into infrastructure. — VNA/VNS Photo

HA NOI — The State will minimise direct aid to poor households and increase investment in infrastructure to promote production in disadvantaged areas, confirmed Le Bach Hong, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA).

Hong made the comment at a recent conference co-organised by MoLISA and the United Nations Development Programme on reviewing the country’s achievements in hunger elimination and poverty alleviation. The conference, held on the occasion of the Day for the Poor and World Poverty Eradication Day, which falls on October 17, also had participants discusing solutions to reach poverty reduction targets by 2010.

Hong said the changes in poverty reduction policy aimed to better help poor people and reduce welfare dependency, while giving poor people more of a chance to help themselves.

“Only by applying the new changes can we gain sustainable results in poverty reduction,” he said.

Hong said the Government would also aim to cut unnecessary support to people who had risen out of poverty but still claimed they were poor in order to continue enjoying State assistance.

The ministry’s new approach for hunger eradication and poverty reduction is reflected in a scheme to support 61 of the poorest districts, where 90 per cent of local people are from ethnic minorities and half of them live under the poverty line. The plan aims to gradually raise the living standard in these regions to be equal to that of other more prosperous rural areas.

Under the scheme, different programmes will be applied for different regions so that poverty reduction work takes into account the various factors unique to each area. Disadvantaged people and communal authorities will be empowered to plan and suggest programmes which will be approved by higher-level authorities and funded by the State. Investment in each programme is expected to be 1.5 times greater than previous rates.

Month for the Poor

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung called on the entire Vietnamese society to combat poverty on the eve of the Month for the Poor in Ha Noi yesterday.
The month long event which is launched by the Viet Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee will begin tomorrow.
“Although progress has been achieved in eliminating hunger and reducing poverty, there are still many difficulties in raising living standard,” Hung told participants at the meeting.
Still, more than 400,000 poor family households are living in thatched-roofed, dilapidated houses.
Hung said due to natural calamities such as regular floods and storms, the number of households relapsing into poverty was high. These households were in dire need of help from the State, communities, businesses and every citizen of the nation, he said.
Committee chairman Huynh Dam said the Fund for the Poor had received VND2.3 trillion (US$139 million) in the past eight years. Along with State investment, this allowed 799,683 houses for the poor to be built and repaired.
Dam set a target to eliminate 400,000 dilapidated houses for the poor by 2010.—

Government steps up poverty reduction

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2008 at 4:43 pm

The Government will carry out a poverty reduction project at 61 districts throughout the country which register a poverty rate of over 50 percent.

Under the project, which will be carried out between 2009 and 2020, specific mechanism and policies will be introduced to help accelerate poverty reduction and ensure that it is maintained in a sustainable manner at the above-mentioned localities.

The poor districts will receive financial assistance to improve their infrastructure, education-training and health care systems in addition to re-planning their residential areas to help reduce human and property losses from natural disasters.

Along with preparations for this project, the Government has decided to introduce a new poverty line early next year to protect the poor from being hit by inflation.

Under a new poverty line submitted to the Government by the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs, an urban resident who earns 390,000 VND or less a month and a rural resident earning 300,000 VND or less a month are considered poor.-

WB provides 150 million USD credit for Vietnam’s poverty reduction

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2008 at 1:27 pm

Hanoi (VNA) – The World Bank (WB) will provide 150 million USD as preferential credit loan for Vietnam ’s poverty reduction and economic development programmes.

Under an agreement signed between State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) Governor Nguyen Van Giau and WB Acting Country Director in Vietnam Martin Rama in Hanoi on July 29, the credit, which is part of the Poverty Reduction Support Credit 7 (PRSC 7) Programme, has a time-limit of 40 years, including a 10-year grace period with an interest rate of 0 percent.

The credit shows WB commitment in providing continued support for Vietnam ’s economic development and poverty reduction.

Together with the WB, 10 bilateral and multilateral donors will co-sponsor the PRSC 7 programme, which is built on the Vietnamese government’s 2006-2010 socio-economic development plan, with a total capital of 220 million USD.

While stressing the importance of PRSC 7 for Vietnam’s poverty reduction and sustainable development, SBV Governor Giau highly appreciated WB and other co-sponsors’ help to enable Vietnam develop and implement the programme.

A representative from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) affirmed that ADB will continue participating in PRSC programmes and said the bank has decided to increase its contributions to three PRSC programmes in Vietnam from 15 million USD to 25 million USD each.

Representatives from the EC Delegation to Vietnam , the Embassies of Japan and Denmark , and the UK Department for International Development also affirmed their commitments to support Vietnam ’s poverty reduction.-