International Day for Eradication of Poverty: significant progress made but challenges still ahead

Oct 17, 2012

© United Nations Viet Nam\2010\Aidan Dockery

Ha Noi – The International Day for Eradication of Poverty, also recognized in Viet Nam as the National Day for the Poor, allows all those dedicated to overcoming poverty to share experiences and give recognition to actions in the fight against poverty. This year’s theme focuses on overcoming extreme poverty.

Progress made
Viet Nam has made significant achievements in the area of poverty reduction (MDG 1). In 20 years time, Viet Nam very successfully reduced poverty from a rate of 58.1 to an estimated rate of 14.5 percent.

Challenges ahead
Nevertheless, the pace of poverty reduction is not equal among regions and population groups. Steps need to be taken to confront the remaining pockets of chronic poverty, regional disparities and inequalities (between ethnic minorities and in the poorest communities in mountainous and coastal areas), and the new emerging forms of poverty, such as urban poverty.

In so doing, we also must keep in mind the daily challenges of the near-poor and prevent that they slide back into poverty. Children, women and non-registered migrants and the near-poor in disadvantaged areas are the groups most at risk.      

Need for different policies and a post 2015 agenda
To address chronic poverty, policymakers should develop multi-sectoral approaches, where poverty is viewed as a multi-dimensional phenomenon, not just in monetary terms.

The Government’s Resolution 80 and the National Target Programme for Sustainable Poverty Reduction are steps in the right direction. More sustainable and inclusive growth and better social protection for vulnerable groups as well as quality social services also have to be provided.

These issues also need to be addressed in the post 2015 development agenda. To help define the agenda, the UN has launched open and inclusive consultations. Viet Nam has been selected as one of 50 countries around the world for such broad-based national consultations. These national consultations will have to capture the voices of many different groups of people from across Viet Nam to achieve the “Future We Want”.

On the International Day, UNDP also launched a new four-year joint project on poverty reduction policies, with a total budget of USD 10,385,200.

Read more:

The speech of the UN Resident Coordinator, Pratibha Mehta
The speech of UNDP Country Director, Louise Chamberlain at the project launch event
A fact sheet on the new poverty reduction policies and programme project
Viet Nam's progress on MDG1 on poverty reduction