HCM City (VNA) - A new set of criteria relating to education, health, employment, social insurance, living conditions and access to information will be applied to determine poor and near-poor households in the 2016-2020 period, the Saigon Times Daily reported.

The new method will replace the current one that relies mostly on income to define poor households, according to Vice Chairwoman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thi Thu.

In the 2016-2020 period, the city will depend on both income and other criteria like academic degree of adults, education for children, vocational qualification, health service, employment, health and social insurance, water supply, telecom service, and assets to identify which households are poor and near-poor.

With the new poverty standards in place, a household will be considered poor if it has average per capita income of 21 million VND a year and meets less than half of the new criteria. Meanwhile, a household will be seen as near poor when it has average annual per capita income of 21-28 million VND and fails to meet less than four of the criteria.

Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Trong Dam said indentifying poor households through income has exposed shortcomings over the past years and has not reflected their real situation. Income of many households has surpassed the poverty line but they cannot benefit from the basic services.

Thu said the city has had no poor households since 2012 if the national poor standards are used but a number of citizens can neither access social services nor meet basic living conditions.

A survey of the municipal Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs showed some 9 percent of the households in the city are not poor by income standards but they can easily relapse into poverty.

According to the city’s current poverty criteria, the number of poor households with annual income of less than VND16 million per person and near-poor households with income of 16-21 million VND per person per year account for 0.5 percent and 2 percent of the total households in the city this year respectively.-VNA