Truong Thi Mai, Chairwoman of the National Assembly’s Committee for Social Affairs, has hailed Ho Chi Minh City for its achievements in poverty reduction, saying the city has set the highest poverty line nationwide.

She made the appraisal while inspecting the city’s implementation of policies and laws on poverty reduction during the 2005-2012 period on December 25-26.

HCM City is the only locality across the country that provides codes to poor households, Mai said, adding that the city has devised particular policies on poverty reduction suitable with each period of time.

It recently decided to raise poverty benchmark to 16 million VND (752 USD) per person per year for 2014-2015 from 12 million VND set for the previous period.

The move has made it easier for local people to access the State’s policies, she noted, highlighting the city’s mobilisation of various resources to the programme along with its budget.

Mai suggested the locality pay more attention to improving living standards of households near the poverty line.

HCM City now has about 16,000 poor households with nine districts having no poor households. Between 2005 and 2012, the city granted more than 2 million health insurance cards to poor people at a cost of 428 billion VND, and built and upgraded over 17,400 houses.

Vietnam had over 2.1 million poor households and more than 1.4 million others living near the poverty line in 2012.

A survey conducted by the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs showed that the poverty rate in 2012 was reduced by 2.12 percent, exceeding the target of 2 percent set by the National Assembly. In particular, the rate sharply fell in poor districts with 7.02 percent while the NA target was just 4 percent.-VNA