VietNamNet Bridge – Viet Nam's human development progress has been largely driven by economic growth, according to a new report released yesterday, Nov 9, by the United Nations Development Programme.
According to the Viet Nam Human Development Report 2011, the country's Human Development Index (HDI) rose by 11.8 per cent between 1999 and 2008 but income growth contributed more than half of this growth, while improved life expectancy and education only contributed 31.8 per cent and 12.8 per cent respectively.
A literature lesson at Viet Bac High School in northern Thai Nguyen Province. The Viet Nam Human Development Report 2011 found that most education spending had come from private households, which suggested that social policies were not ensuring proper access to affordable and quality education. (Photo: VNS)
The HDI measures three basic dimensions of human development – access to education, decent standard of living and healthy life styles. Wealthier cities like Ha Noi, HMC City and Da Nang achieved human development levels comparable to China, Jordan and Belize, while poor provinces like Lai Chau and Ha Giang were similar to Papua New Guinea and Swaziland.
Setsuko Yamazaki, UNDP Country Director in Viet Nam, said that at the global level, Viet Nam's HDI ranked 128 out of 187 surveyed countries in 2011 and fell in the medium human development category. "Viet Nam's progress over time in the three HDI indicators shows that overall human development advancement is mainly due to economic growth," she said.
"A deteriorating environment, extreme weather conditions and the challenge of climate change all further threaten development progress and gains that Viet Nam has achieved over the years."
Ingrid Fitzgerald, principal report author of the national HDR 2011, noted that more people in Viet Nam suffered from multi-dimensional poverty than income poverty, particularly in accessing permanent housing, clean water and sanitation.
The national report suggested that multi-dimensional poverty was very high in Viet Nam's poorest provinces, such as 82.3 per cent in Lai Chau or 75 per cent in Dien Bien. More than half of the population in 12 provinces lived in multi-dimensional poverty.
It also found that most health and education spending came from private household spending, reflecting that social policies were not sufficient to ensure access to affordable, quality education and health services.
VietNamNet/Viet Nam News