VBSP: Timely transfer of policy credit during COVID-19 pandemic

May 31, 2021 | 19:00
Since the first months of 2021, following the directions of the Board of Management and general director, the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) system, including VBSP Hoa Binh branch, has been mobilising credit sources to timely disburse concessional funds to poor households and other policy beneficiaries.

Preferential capital has become a driving force and a fulcrum in the people's journey to overcome poverty and achieve prosperity, especially in the current context of the COVID-19 outbreak.

vbsp timely transfer of policy credit during covid 19 pandemic
VBSP transaction points in communes, wards, and towns across the country have been strictly implementing COVID-19 preventive measures

Since the beginning of 2021, COVID-19 has been affecting all residents of Hoa Binh province which is 60km northwest of Hanoi, including poor households and other policy beneficiaries of VBSP.

Especially, since May 10, the province announced social distancing in Hoa Binh city and took drastic measures to prevent and control the pandemic situation.

According to Nguyen Minh Hung, director of VBSP’s Hoa Binh branch office, the high poverty rates in the province have lead to soaring needs for preferential loans for local people.

In order to timely convey policy capital to poor households and other policy beneficiaries during COVID-19, VBSP has implemented diverse solutions, especially, strictly implementing the 5K message of the Ministry of Health at communal transaction points.

Wearing a mask, disinfecting hands, and keeping a distance are all things that Bui Van Phong, head of the Saving Group in Mac hamlet, Tan My commune, Lac Son district often reminds members when coming to conduct transactions.

According to Phong, in the past, most households in the hamlet were poor or near-poor, only dreaming of economic development but without the capital to act. Since receiving preferential loans from VBSP, people's life has changed a lot. Many households got wealthy through the effective use of policy capital. Despite the current pandemic complications, policy capital is still disbursed in a timely manner, which is a motivation for people to overcome difficulties and continue to develop.

vbsp timely transfer of policy credit during covid 19 pandemic
VBSP Hoa Binh branch and those in other localities have erected partitions to ensure safe transactions between bank staff and customers in light of the MoH’s 5K recommendation

Not only members of Phong's group receive special care from policy credit, in recent years, most poor and near-poor households in Hoa Binh province have made steady progress towards leaving poverty thanks to the continuous companionship of policy capital.

One such beneficiary is the family of Bui Thi Un, a poor household in De hamlet, Bac Phong commune, Cao Phong district. In the past, when she got married, her family faced mounting hardships as they lived in a makeshift house on bamboo stilts. Their income depended chiefly on farming and working as hired labour.

With effective implementation of lending programmes, policy credit continues to be an important fulcrum in poverty reduction, contributing to speeding up the progress of the national target programme on building new rural areas.

“It all turned to the better when we got a loan to build this house. After that, VBSP continued to lend us money to raise buffaloes, allowing my family's life to be less difficult," said Un.

Since the beginning of the year, thousands of poor households and other policy beneficiaries in Hoa Binh province have received preferential loans.

Accordingly, the total outstanding loan balance of policy credit sources in the first four months of 2021 in Hoa Binh province reached more than VND598 billion ($26 million), committed ot 17,155 customers. Up to now, the total balance in the province has surpassed VND3.49 trillion ($151.74 million), to more than 125,000 borrowers.

Through policy credit sources, 1,256 workers have been given jobs, 25 students have received loans, 34 workers have been granted loans for foreign work, and over 8,700 clean water and sanitation projects have been renovated and rebuilt.

With the effective implementation of lending programmes, policy credit continues to be an important fulcrum in poverty reduction, speeding up the progress of the national target programme on building new rural areas in difficult areas, pushing illegal credit while helping the poor and other policy beneficiaries overcome the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The total outstanding loan balance under policy credit programmes of the entire VBSP system as of April 30, 2021 reached VND236.913 trillion ($10.3 billion).

Following the directions of the State Bank, VBSP actively implemented solutions to support and remove difficulties for borrowers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, in the first four months of 2021, a total of 4,653 customers were given loan extension; VND1.376 trillion ($59.83 million) worth in supplemental loan was given to 47,995 customers; and 845,691 customers received new loans worth VND30.823 trillion ($1.34 billion).

By Hong Thuy

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