Vietnam had over 2.1 million poor households and over 1.4 million families living near the poverty line in 2012, accounting for 9.64 percent and 6.57 percent of the population, respectively.

These are the results of a survey on poor and nearly-poor households across 63 provinces and cities in 2012 recently announced by the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA).

The survey showed that the poverty rate in 2012 was reduced by 2.12 percent, exceeding the target of 2 percent set by the National Assembly (NA). In particular, the rate sharply fell in poor districts with 7.02 percent while the NA target was just 4 percent.

The northwestern mountainous region had the highest poverty rate in the country (28.55 percent) and the east-southern region had the lowest poverty rate (1.27 percent).

According to the MOLISA, these figures resulted from the synchronous and full implementation of policies for the poor together with socio-economic development programmes, the national programme on sustainable poverty reduction and poverty reduction projects by international organisations, which created favourable conditions for poor families to expand production and improve their lives.

Poverty reduction and social welfare is a big and consistent policy of the Party and State. Over the past years, poverty reduction and social welfare policy systems have been continuously updated and made more efficient. The poor have found it easier to access assistance policies of the State, while the rural infrastructure and their living conditions have been improved remarkably.

In 2013, the target for poverty reduction is still 2 percent for the whole country and 4 percent for poor districts.-VNA