Vietnam changes approach to poverty reduction

(VOVworld)- In the last two decades, Vietnam cut the poverty rate from 58.1% to less than 10%. But, Vietnam is facing several challenges in sustaining that result. The risk of poverty relapse is high and differences between regions remain. Meanwhile, new types of urban poverty have emerged. In that context, Vietnam is changing its approach in order to reduce poverty more sustainably.

Vietnam changes approach to poverty reduction - ảnh 1

Vietnam is one of a few countries that have multiple poverty reduction policies. But, the large number of polices has resulted in scattered and overlapping resources. Policies need to be revised to increase their impact on beneficiaries and ensure sufficient resources to support the policies. Ngo Truong Thi is Head of the Office of the National Target Program on Poverty Reduction of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs: “Vietnam needs to expand policies and support for the near poor and households newly-escaped from poverty so that they will not relapse back into poverty. This will provide an added incentive for the poor to strive forward to escape from poverty. We also need to reduce giveaway policies and replace them with binding policies. We are also studying regulations on timing, under which poor households are supported for 3 to 5 years only. If they don’t try, they will not receive any further support”.

Mr. Thi says that to sustainably reduce poverty, it is necessary to change the approach to poverty target groups from single-dimensional to multi-dimensional. Identification of the poor has changed and income criteria are not the only determining factor. Thi said: “Using the previous approach, we have missed some target groups, which should be helped although they are not poor households, such as migrants to the city and certain workers. We missed these groups because we identified the poor by household. Changing from a single to a multi-dimensional approach will help relevant agencies identify target groups in need of support and work out appropriate policies. By doing so, we can also evaluate the impact of policies on these groups, who will receive different levels of support according to poverty or minimum life standards”.

In addition to revising policies and changing approaches, Vietnam will give priority to especially disadvantaged and ethnic minority regions to balance uneven poverty. Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen said: “We will continue to give priority to the poorest and ethnic minority regions. We aim to mobilize the participation of the whole political system, society and state to quickly implement sustainable poverty reduction goals and narrow income gaps. New support policies need to expand the beneficiaries to include households that have escaped from poverty and near poor households”.

By transforming the poverty reduction approach in policies, target groups and resource arrangement, Vietnam is trying to sustain its poverty reduction results to ensure social stability and improve the lives of the poor.