HCM City Sets New Poverty Standards for 2021-2025 Period

The Ho Chi Minh City Sustainable Poverty Reduction Steering Board has submitted its new multi-dimensional poverty standards for the 2021-2025 period to the city People’s Committee. The poverty threshold for the 2021-2025 will be less than VND36 million ($1,553) in annual income per capita, compared to the current threshold of VND28 million ($1,207) per capita, according to Le Minh Tan, head of the city’s Department of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs and head of the board. The multi-dimensional measures of poverty will include five dimensions: annual income, health, education, employment, and decent living conditions. There will be 10 indicators in the five dimensions of poverty. The current five dimensions of poverty include education, health, employment and social insurance, living conditions, and information access with 11 indicators. The city began using multi-dimensional poverty measures in 2016 in an aim to achieve sustainable poverty reduction and access to basic social services by the poor.  Tan said that changes in the poverty dimensional measures would help define the rights of the poor who need assistance from the city. It will also help assess the influence of the city’s policies on beneficiaries. Households with three deprivation indicators will be classified under multi-dimensional measures. In the dimension based on income, households would have income of VND36 million ($1,553) per capita each year or less than VND36 million. The proportion of dependent members in these households would account for 50%. In the dimension of poverty based on decent living conditions, the housing area of each member in one household would be less than 6 square meters if they live in the city’s inner districts and 10 square meters in the city’s outlying districts. With the new multi-dimensional poverty standards, the city expects to have 52,000 poor households, accounting for 2.4% of the city’s total population and 38,000 households near the poverty threshold with income from VND36 million to VND46 million per capita each year. The city currently has 3,700 poor households, accounting for 0.13% of the city’s total population and 15,000 households near the poverty line. Relevant ministries and agencies are developing the national multi-dimensional poverty standards for the 2021-2025 period to submit to the Prime Minister for approval. The poverty rate nationwide is expected to decrease to less than 3% by the end of this year from 3.75% in 2019. More than VND10 trillion from the State budget this year was earmarked for the National Target Program on Sustainable Poverty Reduction. As of June 30, loans from the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies worth more than VND18.6 trillion have been provided to 423,000 poor and near-poor households in the country. (VietnamNews)