Vietnam’s poverty reduction achievements in 2011

Vietnam had  impressive results in poverty reduction last year thanks to substantial economic growth. A number of fruitful programs were the National Target program on Poverty Reduction, the socio-economic development program for most disadvantaged communes in mountainous areas and areas inhabited by ethnic minority people and the program on fast and sustainable poverty reduction in 62 poor districts.

Vietnam’s poverty reduction achievements in 2011 - ảnh 1
Vocational training helps reduce poverty

Last year, economic uncertainties, steep inflation plus grave consequence of natural disasters made the lives of ordinary people, especially the poor, more difficult. The Vietnamese government adopted Resolution No11 on socio-economic management, which spelled out tightened financial policies, but focused on social welfare. As a result, the national poverty rate fell from 16% to 14%. Ngo Truong Thi, Head of the Office for Poverty Reduction Program Coordination of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, said last year more than 150 million USD were allocated to social welfare, including financial aids,  health insurance subsidies, student fees and housing and preferential loans for poor households. Thi said: “In 2011, the government doubled budgets for the implementation of poverty reduction programs in 62 poor communes, which raised more than 360 million USD with a “Day for Poor”, and received 300 million USD in donations from enterprises. The state budget and private donors have reduced poverty nationwide”.

Vietnam’s poverty reduction strategy aims to make sure that those who  escape poverty will not become poor again. Nearly 2.5 million people have been provided with subsidies, vocational training or employment. A government resolution on sustainable poverty reduction over the next 10 years, which gives priorities to the poorest, has helped bridge the development gaps between regions. Hoang Tri Thuc, Chairman of the People’s Committee in Son La province, said: “This is the most significant policy targeting disadvantaged areas. It has won the people’s support and rallied resources from the entire population to aid the poor and those who have rendered great services to the nation”.

Over the past decade, Vietnam’s poverty reduction efforts have aided by the international community. At a consultative group meeting of donors for Vietnam in Hanoi last December, international organizations were enthusiastic about the Vietnamese government’s sustainable poverty reduction plan. Ngo Truong Thi again: “International organizations are planning to assist Vietnam’s poverty reduction efforts until 2015. The European Union, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program, and other partners said they are working out a framework of activities to reduce poverty in Vietnam’s most disadvantaged areas based on the Vietnamese government’s  plan. They are aiming to help Vietnam develop its human resources, provide technical assistance for the decentralization of power, and enhance transparency and publicity in poverty reduction implementation”.

In 2012, the Vietnamese government intends to reduce the poverty rate to 10%. Priority will be given to infrastructure construction and employment in poor areas.