Experts and policymakers discuss new models for poverty reduction in Viet Nam

25 May 2010

Over hundred people gathered at the Sofitel Plaza Hotel in Ha Noi today to discuss future poverty reduction strategies and programmes in Viet Nam. Representatives from line ministries, the National Assembly, UN agencies, donor countries, civil society groups, academic and the media reviewed the impressive history of poverty reduction in Viet Nam, but noted that further poverty reduction will be challenging, requiring new approaches.

Over the past two decades the poverty rate is Viet Nam has gone from more than 50% to under 15%, a remarkable achievement.  However, helping the remaining 10-12 % of the population escape poverty, and ensuring that those just above the poverty line do not fall back below it, will be more challenging.

“Many ethnic minority and mountainous areas are falling further and further behind the rest of the country in terms of socio-economic development,” said Mr John Hendra, UN Resident Coordinator.  “There is also a growing concern that the provision of social services and social security are becoming increasingly less equitable – both in terms of access and in terms of quality.”

Some participants in the workshop raised the questions of how to define poverty in Viet Nam. The UN has been supporting development of a “multidimensional” approach to poverty which takes into consideration “the broader concept of human development and not simply increasing income,” said John Hendra.

Reviewing the current policies and programme for poverty reduction, Peter Chaudhry, a UNDP technical advisor, pointed out that there are overlaps in both the design and contents of existing programmes. He recommended that poverty reduction programmes be combined into “one master programme or framework” to remove overlaps and improve coordination and efficiency.

These and other ideas and suggestions from the workshop will be considered by Vietnamese policymakers as they prepare the new national and sectoral strategies and programmes, including the Socio-Economic Development Strategy (SEDS) for 2011-2020.

This workshop on the direction for poverty reduction programme in 2011- 2020 period, jointly organized by Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and the United Nations in Viet Nam.

For more information click on the links below:

Speech at the workshop by UN Resident Coordinator John Hendra
“A mapping exercise – Poverty reduction programmes and policies in Viet Nam”

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Photo: Panelists at the workshop: (from left) MPI Deputy Minister Nguyen Bich Dat, MOLISA Deputy Minister Nguyen Trong Dam and UN Resident Coordinator John Hendra