Has Vietnam 'Made Poverty History'?
April 14, 2017
206 Ingraham Hall
Dr. Valerie Kozel
Adjunct Associate Professor
La Follette School of Public Affairs
Former World Bank Senior Economist
The World Bank worked together with the Ministry of Labor and Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), the Government Statistics Office (GSO), and Vietnamese research institutes and universities to update the government’s poverty standards and reframe the national debate about progress and remaining challenges. Consensus was reached that Vietnam has not (yet) made poverty history, and in important respects, the task of poverty reduction is becoming more difficult. The remaining poor are harder to reach; they face difficult challenges—of isolation, limited assets, low levels of education, poor health status—and poverty reduction is becoming less responsive to economic growth. Ethnic minority poverty remains a growing, persistent, and poorly addressed challenge. Based on updated statistics and standards, 58 percent of ethnic minorities still live below the poverty line in 2014, compared to only 6 percent of the Kinh majority, and share of minorities among Vietnam’s remaining poor increased to 60 percent.