Viet Nam to bring poverty to 11 percent by 2010
The country's new criterion regarding poverty was set that a household whose per capita income per month is below 200,000 VND (12.5 USD) in rural areas and below 260,000 VND (16.25 USD) in urban areas is classified as poor.
While introducing the programme to the public, Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Hang unveiled that close to 43.5 trilion VND will be earmarked for the programme, which is seven percent higher than the sum spent in the 2001-2005 period.
The sum will include the State budget's allocation, localities' contributions and funding from the international community, Hang said.
In the 2006-2010 period, the programme will be supported with new policies regarding legal support and monitoring activities. It will also be supplemented with new projects, including projects to provide poor people with vocational training and build fundamental infrastructural facilities in communes facing extreme difficulties, coastal areas and islands.
Toward the target, the State will continue assisting those poor people with educational, vocational training fees, and health insurance cards.
The State will also continue to implement credit policies in favour of poor households, allocate farming land and supply drinking water for poor ethnic minorities, and carry out agriculture, forestry and fishery promotion programmes.
Addressing the press briefing, John Hendra, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Viet Nam commented that by approving the 2006-2010 poverty reduction programme and the second phase of the programme 135 that promotes socio-economic development in underdeveloped communes in mountainous, rural and remote areas, Viet Nam has reasserted its commitment to reducing poverty to achieve its set development goals as well as Millennium Development Goals.
Hendra also renewed the UN's pledge of assisting Viet Nam 's poverty programmes through sharing international experiences in the field and providing with technical assistance and assisting in capacity building.
The UN will assist the Vietnamese Government in coordinating different capital sources, including that from international donors to maximise the effectiveness of the two programmes to benefit the poor.
The national poverty reduction programme was completed at the end of 2004 - one year ahead of schedule, bringing the percentage of poor households to 7 percent (according to the old criterion) compared to the 10 percent target for 2005. It was recognised by the international community as "one of many successful stories in economic development".
The programme has helped 4.3 million poor households access to credits, 51,000 other poor households attain farming land, and 2 million disadvantaged people trained in business.
Millions of poor were offered free medical checks-up and exempted from school fees.
Also in this period, over 1,000 infrastructural facilities including electricity, transportation, schools and health clinics were built in nearly 1,000 underdeveloped communes./.(VNA)