Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Helen Clark has hailed the progress that Ho Chi Minh City has made in poverty reduction.

Meeting Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Hoang Quan on March 21, the visiting UNDP leader recognised the attempts of the city ensure immigrants’ access to healthcare and education services.

The city is one of the leading localities in Vietnam in socio-economic development, with many achievements made in cutting the poverty rate and improving living conditions, said Clark .

She praised the multidimensional poverty reduction model applied in the city, which includes measures to not only raise locals’ income but also to ensure the human rights.

The UNDP also appreciates the city’s efforts in administrative reforms which have resulted in strong performances in different indexes, she said.

Identifying challenges the city faces in its development progress, such as issues related to the environment, transport and climate change, Clark suggested that it should design more effective measures to settle problems at the local level.

For his part, Quan thanked the support from the UNDP over past years, especially through its close coordination with the municipal authorities in the implementation of many effective programmes, including the administrative reform and multidimensional poverty reduction projects launched in the city in 2012.

Ho Chi Minh City always considers poverty reduction and social welfares as important pillars of its process, ensuring balance, stable growth and international integration, he added.

Quan noted that the city reached its target of reducing the number of poor households in 2013, two years ahead of schedule.

It has decided to raised the poverty line to 16 million VND (752 USD) per household annually instead of 12 million VND (564 USD), he said, adding that the figure is much higher than the average standard of the country and is getting closer to the global average.-VNA