The Party and State always give top priority to hunger elimination and poverty reduction so the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) needs to improve the effectiveness of credit programmes designed for the work, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has said.

The Government leader was speaking at the VBSP’s conference reviewing its operations in the 2003-2012 period in Hanoi on April 15.

In the reviewed period, the VBSP has provided loans to 21.4 million poor households and other policy beneficiaries.

As a result, 2.9 million households were lifted out of the poverty line, nearly 2.6 million people secured jobs, and 3 million poor students continued studying.

More than 4.2 million water supply and sanitation works were built in rural areas, 88,000 houses were provided for families in the Mekong Delta, other 484,000 houses were given to poor households and policy beneficiaries, and over 98,000 members of policy benefiting families have been sent to work abroad.

VBSP’s outstanding balance currently stands at 113.9 trillion VND and its annual growth rate is 32.8 percent.

The bank has played an efficient part in reducing the percentage of poor families from 14.2 percent to 10 percent in 2011-2012, according to its report.

For its future sustainable development, the VBSP proposed the Government creating conditions to make its access to ODA capital and long-term, soft loans easier and adopting policies to encourage financial and credit institutions and economic groups to contribute to policy credit resources.

During the past 10 years, the VBSP has enthusiastically participated in the State’s credit programmes, and through political-social organisations including those of women, war invalids and youth union, it has lent a helping hand to improve people’s living condition, PM Dung said.

He asked the Ministries of Finance and Planning and Investment as well as the State Bank of Vietnam to work to raise the VBSP’s financial capacity to better meet poor households and policy beneficiaries’ need for loans.-VNA