Vietnam poverty classification levels adjusted

Ha Noi, Nov. 5 (VNA) -- The Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) has announced adjustments to poverty classification levels for next year.

The levels will be increased by 1.5 times as from Jan. 1, 2001, under which households in mountainous and island areas with per-head monthly incomes lower than VND 80,000 (USD 5.7) will be classified as poor. The levels will be set at VND 100,000 (USD 7.1) for households in rural areas and VND 150,000 (USD 10.7) in urban areas.

Currently, the country has about 4 million poor households, accounting for 25 percent of the whole country. The figure is more than 30 percent in the northern mountainous, northern central, central coastal and central highland areas.

The national hunger eradication and poverty alleviation programme has set a target for the 2001-2005 period of eliminating hunger households and of reducing poor households to 15 percent according to the new levels. All poor communes will have access to infrastructure facilities and 75 percent of households will be provided with basic social services.

The State will apply preferential policies to poor people, relating to credit, healthcare, education, product marketing, and legal support.

The State will invest in infrastructure construction, assist vocational development; provide guidance on business, agriculture, forestry and fishery promotion; and assist technology transfer, sedentary farming and resettlement.