Much to do in war on poverty

VietNamNet Bridge – Multidimensional poverty (MDP) in Vietnam witnessed a significant drop from 15.9 per cent in 2012 to 9.1 per cent in 2016 with some six million people escaping from poverty.

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Remoteness is among the biggest barriers preventing Mang, an ethnic minority in Lai Chau Province, from reducing poverty. — VNA/VNS Photo Viet Hoang


However, gaps among geographical areas and population groups still pose challenge for citizens and the Government to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to “eliminate poverty in all its dimensions and everywhere.”

The conclusion was revealed on Wednesday in a report entitled ‘Multidimensional poverty in Vietnam: Reducing poverty in all its dimensions to ensure a good quality life for all’ by Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) in collaboration with Viet Nam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS), the General Statistics Office (GSO), the Mekong Development Research Institute (MDRI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Recognising that quality of life is not only measured by income, in 2015, Vietnam’s Government started applying a new poverty line which takes five basic social services of healthcare, education, housing, water and sanitation and access to information into account.

These needs are represented by 10 indicators and a household deprived of three or more indicators is considered poor.

The report points out the differences among poverty measures in relation to geographical regions. For example, despite having the highest rates of income and expenditure poverty, the Northern Midlands area and mountainous regions showed a lower rate of multidimensional poverty than the Central Highlands and the Mekong Delta.

Taking three measures of income, expenditure and multidimensional poverty into consideration, only 2.7 per cent of the population was poor.

Strengthened universal health insurance and the rising popularity of mobile phones and internet have helped lift barriers to healthcare and information access.

Meanwhile, indicators of hygienic latrines and adult education still need improving.

Disadvantaged groups made a remarkable move in poverty reduction but still lag behind, the report noted.

The biggest challenge for ethnic minorities to catch up with the dominant Kinh and Hoa groups is geographic distance and remoteness.

Moreover, multidimensional poor households that include people with disabilities still have poor access to education and employment opportunities.

Some recommendations were also delivered in the report, including increasing incomes for all labourers by enhancing productive employment, improving social services quality and coverage as well as intensifying impacts of poverty reduction programmes and policies. 

Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Viet Nam Resident Representative stressed upon the importance of capacity building for ethnic minorities to better access to finance, business incubation and markets in erasing poverty gaps among geographical regions and population groups. 

“Vietnam’s future success in poverty reduction will largely depend on the country’s ability to ensure inclusive growth that generates more decent jobs, and dedicated support to those most left behind,” she said.

Source: VNS

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