Vietnam has 16 national target programmes covering such areas as building new rural areas, employment and vocational training, sustainable poverty reduction, and child protection. They greatly contribute to ensurubg social security. Report by Radio The Voice of Vietnam.

Despite economic difficulties, Vietnam has managed to reduce poverty and ensure social security. According to deputies at the ongoing 6th session of the 13th National Assembly, this is thanks to the national target programmes which have been implemented in the last three years. The deputies stressed the need to give priority to some target programmes in the near future.

Vietnam counts 16 national target programmes covering different areas. In the last three years, total State funding and ODA allocated for these programmes reached more than 80.2 trillion VND (38 million USD, accounting for 33 percent of the funding estimated for the 2011-2015 period.

These programmes have helped Vietnam fulfill social security targets and the Millennium Development Goals, facilitating poverty reduction and the improvement of living conditions in disadvantaged areas.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa, a deputy from Bac Ninh province, said: "The achievements that we have recorded in the last three years are remarkable and important. The Party, Government, and National Assembly always pay special attention to social security. Despite economic difficulties and decreasing GDP, due investment has been poured into social security.

"As a result, people’s lives have been improved, the poverty rate has been brought down year after year and reduced quickly in poor districts. The rate of social insurance participation has increased and the number of social beneficiaries has been expanded. Incentives to support education and provide rice for poor and ethnic minority students are in place."

Deputies also pointed out some shortcomings in implementing the programmes. Many of the 16 national target programmes have overlapping functions and tasks assigned to different ministries and sectors.

Deputies suggested reviewing these programmes and proposed narrowing these programmes and component projects to make the investment more effective.

La Ngoc Thoang, a deputy from Cao Bang province, said: "It is necessary to review the targets of each programmes, then reduce and integrate them to make match our resources.

"We need to adjust capital ratios, increase investment in development, especially infrastructure development in the area of transportation, schools, and clinics while reducing administrative costs. We need to have flexible approaches in each region to gain the best results."

Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh said: "In the meantime, the Government needs to maintain these 16 programmes, then cut down component ones and narrow their targets to make them match resources and reality. In the next two years, we should not start any new projects but instead focus on completing ongoing projects. After 2015, we will consider the integration of the national target programmes."

After 2016, the Government will consider keeping two or three key programmes such as poverty reduction and new rural development. Hoang Dang Quang, a deputy from Quang Binh province, said: "I agree with the Government that in the context of economic difficulties, we still need to give priority to agricultural and rural development. So I propose that the National Assembly and the Government increase investment in agriculture and incentives for farmers.

"At the same time, we need to strengthen agricultural restructuring focusing on mechanisms on consuming agricultural products, stimulating production, securing outlets for these products and adopting appropriate policies on agricultural materials."

In order to make national target programmes more effective, the Government will delegate more power to local authorities and reduce intervention by ministries and sectors, so local authorities can implement the programmes on their own initiative and be responsible for them. The success of these programmes will contribute to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.-VNA