A seminar on urban poverty and multidimensional access to poverty reduction in Ho Chi Minh City took place in the city on August 3.

The seminar was jointly held by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the HCM City Statistics Office and Department of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs.

Speaking at the event, Le Thi Thanh Loan, Acting Director of the HCM City Statistics Office, said that poverty reduction should be based on multidimensional criteria, including income, education, health, social welfare, housing quality and area, housing services, participation in social activities and social safety.

The multidimensional access approach helps to provide more comprehensive assessments on people’s lives and poverty reduction policies should also be based on this model, she said.

As a major urban centre with high socio-economic development goals, HCM City is paying strong attention to poverty reduction to address a growing income gap and increased flows of immigrants, she added.

According to experts, to achieve sustainable poverty reduction, HCM City should strengthen access to social welfare systems and improve housing services.

The city needs to have long-term policies in support of poor people, especially immigrants, and its poverty reduction programmes should be combined with socio-economic development plans.

In addition to increasing incomes for residents, HCM City should pay attention to assisting them with education, health, vocational training, job placement and housing issues.

Over the past 20 years, HCM City has allocated over 15 trillion VND for its poverty reduction programme and more than 1.1 million poor households were provided with loans, said Nguyen Van Xe, Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs.

The number of poor households in the city dropped to around 100,000, or 5.69 percent of its total population, he said./.