The country should pay attention to slashing poverty in urban areas as it looks to do this sustainably, said head of the National Assembly’s Committee for Social Affairs Truong Thi Mai at a recent workshop in Ho Chi Minh City.

Some cities and provinces that recorded the fastest pace of poverty alleviation include Ho Chi Minh City, the southern province of Binh Duong, and the central city of Da Nang.

The rate of urban poor households dropped to 4.3 percent in 2012 from 6.9 percent in 2010, said the General Statistics Office.

The Vietnamese population is expected to hit 95 million by 2020, with farmers accounting for 30-35 percent.

Mai said rural labourers are often highly vulnerable when moving to urban areas to work - temporary residency makes it difficult for them to fully benefit from the State policies.

Ngo Truong Thi, head of the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs’ National Office of Poverty Reduction raised the fact that city dwellers living in need still find it hard to access housing support, vocational training and technology transfer.

The less well-to-do under the national standard also hardly access basic services such as health care, education and lending.

According to the committee, the 2005-2012 poverty reduction policy offered a new facelift to rural and mountainous areas, but the rate of poverty relapse remains high.-VNA