VBSP: Poverty reduction by brain and by heart

December 18, 2020 | 09:27
Providing policy credit as an important channel for poverty reduction, Vietnam Bank for Social Policies has been awarded the Labour Hero in renovation title.
vbsp poverty reduction by brain and by heart
VBSP's policy credit has contributed to poverty reduction throughout the country

Shining light on Vision 2045 for a thriving Vietnam, at the national online conference summarising poverty reduction activities in 2016-2020, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that the cause must be championed by both brain and heart.

“Poverty reduction is a task of great social significance. Most people having incomes and decent life prove the correctness of leadership,” said the premier.

On behalf of the Party and the state, the PM conveyed thanks to all those who are working diligently day and night to help needy people improve their living, and pupils to continue going to school, striving for a better life.

He recalled that despite the limited budget, the National Assembly and the government have doubled investment in the poverty reduction cause in 2016-2020, compared to the previous period.

In fact, 21 per cent of the state budget was directed to social well-being, the highest level among ASEAN members. In COVID-19 times, Vietnam had policies to directly support 13 million people at different levels.

To ensure social well-being, the Party and the state has crafted an array of measures looking towards sustainable poverty reduction, including credit policies catered to needy people and other policy beneficiaries.

The rate of needy households dropped to 3.75 per cent in 2019 from 9.88 per cent in 2015, and is expected to fall below 3 per cent this year, turning Vietnam into one of the first nations reaching the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on poverty reduction prior to schedule.

As of now, all communes throughout the country are accessible by car, while 99 per cent of communes and 80 per cent of hamlets are connected to the national power grid. All residents belonging to ethnic minorities and needy people are given free-of-charge insurance.

The transport system, particularly in mountainous areas, has been improved significantly, helping to push up trade and services, as well as create more jobs.

A number of factories and enterprises have sprung up in many localities, helping people escape from poverty and shift to working in the industrial sector with higher incomes.

“Policy credit is an important channel helping to reduce poverty and eradicate hunger in rural and highland areas. Vietnam Bank for Social Policies was conferred the Labour Hero in renovation title by the Party and the state for its non-stop efforts in this noble cause,” said the premier.

To ensure social well-being, the Party and the state has crafted an array of measures looking towards sustainable poverty reduction, including credit policies catering to needy people and other policy beneficiaries.

As of November 30, 2020, total policy credit volume amounted to VND233.456 trillion ($10.15 billion) while the total outstanding balance of policy credit programmes reached VND225.377 trillion ($9.8 billion), an increase of VND82.849 trillion ($3.6 billion) compared to early 2016, with around 6.5 million needy households and other policy beneficiaries holding loans.

During 2016-2020, VBSP lent to more than 10.6 million people worth VND316.535 trillion ($13.76 billion). Needy households and other policy beneficiaries have an equal access to VBSP loans once meeting set requirements.

These achievements are the bright point in the current context due to COVID-19 implications, yet remain modest in the face of the many challenges that lie in the path ahead.

“Our country is one among those suffering the most from climate change implications and has continuously faced natural calamities. Poverty reduction shall always be a big challenge to all of us,” said the premier.

He added that the current results on poverty reduction are not yet sustainable, while the gap between the rich and the poor, among regions, and groups of people have yet to be shortened.

From the outset this year, the harsh implications of COVID-19 have disrupted the implementation of the SDGs. The fight against poverty was deemed to suffer a setback by a decade due to the pandemic, posing big challenges to the fight against poverty on a global scale.

Along with this, the prime minister has submitted to the Central Party Committee, the Politburo, and the Secretariat diverse resolutions and directives on poverty reduction to ensure sustainable social well-being by 2030.

Proposals were also made to the National Assembly for the enactment of a resolution to accelerate the implementation of poverty reduction targets in an inclusive manner and approving investment in the national target programme on sustainable poverty reduction and social well-being in 2021-2025, with orientations towards 2030 and vision towards 2045 for a thriving Vietnam.

By Hong Thuy

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