The sheep herd of a farmer in Nhi Ha commmune of Thuan Nam district, Ninh Thuan province (Photo: VNA)

The Prime Minister has approved a master project to transfer from a one-dimensional to a multi-dimensional poverty measurement approach for 2016-2020.

Measuring poverty will encompass five factors, including living conditions, income levels, access to education and healthcare, access to information, and access to insurance and social assistance.

Accordingly, a household that lacks more than half of its basic needs will be considered critically poor. Households that cannot meet between one third and a half of their needs will be regarded as multidimensional poor households.

The new poverty measurement approach will reveal common shortcomings in specific communities and regions, thus helping policymakers identify geographic areas and demographic groups most in need of assistance.

The statistics will also help monitor poverty reduction results and evaluate poverty reduction policies to make timely adjustments, if needed.

The new approach contains various factors used by the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), developed by the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative and the United Nations Development Programme in 2010 that go beyond income poverty to reveal alternate patterns of poverty.

According to Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thanh Hoa, the poverty rate among households nationwide was cut from 14.2 percent in 2010 down to 5.8-6 percent by the end of 2014. The figure is expected to fall to below 5 percent in late 2015.

The number of low-income families in Vietnam reduces by an average of 2 percent annually, while the rate in impoverished districts drops by more than 5 percent yearly, meeting the targets set for 2012-2015.

In 2014 alone, a total of 34.7 trillion VND (1.65 billion USD) was allocated for poverty alleviation efforts, 30.8 trillion VND of which came from the State budget and the remaining 3.8 trillion VND from other sources.-VNA