A seminar was held in Hanoi on October 29 to discuss the results of a recent survey on the demand for preferential loans and jobs of four vulnerable groups in Vietnam.

The survey, conducted by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) with support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Irish Aid, was undertaken to collect data to submit to the Prime Minister for allocation of resources in each year and period.

It also serves as a basis for the building and implementation of new policies in lending mechanisms, related services and human resources allocation, as well as for the planning of expense distribution and orientations to support the education and development of jobs in line with the demand of each group.

Targeted people include rehabilitated drug users, prostitutes, HIV infected and affected people, and drug users being treated with methadone in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Dien Bien, Nghe An, Can Tho and Lam Dong province.

The results from over 1,500 questionnaires in four provinces showed that only 17.1 percent of people questioned got loans, while the demand for borrowing was very high at 85.5 percent.

The low rate is due to specific conditions of health, knowledge, occupation, low confidence and discrimination, the report said.

Additionally, 32.7 percent of surveyed people said lending procedures are still complicated, 32.1 percent blamed lenders for not loaning them money because they do not belong to any social organisation.

Despite the high demand for training (57.6 percent), only 14.4 percent of people received vocational training and job introduction.

According to the report, there are still few vocational training and job introduction centres, and training models are not suitable for the vulnerable groups.

It was recommended that related ministries and agencies review current legal documents on lending and creating jobs for the aforesaid people, stepping up education to reduce discrimination, as well as raising public awareness on the issue.

People’s committees at district and provincial levels were asked to draw parts of their budget and mobilise resources from the community to lend money to the vulnerable groups.

They were also asked to create more jobs for the groups and strengthen coordination between creditors and other related local agencies.

Surveyors suggested vulnerable people actively seek consultations from supporting centres to get exact information on training and jobs, while learning from successful models to use the loans effectively.-VNA