New survey analyses urban poverty in Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City

16 Dec 2010

Ha Noi – A new survey assessing urban poverty in Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City was launched yesterday. Data from the survey, which was supported by UNDP, clearly shows that while the two cities have enjoyed tremendous economic growth, this has not benefited all residents. People living in the two cities face inequalities in living standards and in access to services, such as education and health care.

Such inequalities are clear when low- and high-income groups are compared. And these inequalities are even more pronounced when the lives of permanent residents are compared to those of unregistered or temporary migrants.

The survey uses a multi-dimensional approach to assess poverty, recognizing that poverty is not simply an issue of lack of income. This shows that while income poverty is relatively minor in the two cities, a considerable proportion of people are considered to be multi-dimensionally poor.

These residents are deprived in their access to the social security system, to basic social services such as education, health and housing, and are also deprived of the opportunity to participate in social activities. For example, more than a third (38%) of people in Ha Noi and more than half (54%) of those living in Ho Chi Minh City have no access to the social security system. Similarly, more than a third of people in both cities lack access to proper housing services such as tap water, waste disposal and sewage drains and about one quarter are deprived of decent quality housing.

Some of the priority areas highlighted in the survey include strengthening the social security system, improving housing services and housing quality, and making sure migrants are more included in social organizations and community activities.

The urban poverty survey was conducted by the Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committees and the General Statistics Office, with support from UNDP.

For more information, see:

The urban poverty survey report
Speech by Setsuko Yamazaki, UNDP Country Director, at the launch of the survey
Article in Viet Nam News on the survey

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Photo: New data analyses urban poverty in Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City