Poverty reduction slows

Poverty reduction has slowed a little but the government will strive to reduce the number of poor families from 6.56 percent in 2016 down to 6.09 percent by 2017, the government has told the National Assembly. There are four main reasons for the slower rate of poverty reduction, Minister of Planning and Investment Dr Souphanh Keomixay told the ongoing ordinary session of parliament when he presented a report that concluded the implementation of the socio-economic development plan for 2016 and the plan for 2017. Explaining the reasons, the minister said the remaining poor families were located in remote hardship areas. Meanwhile, Gross Domestic Product registered smaller growth at just 6.9 percent in the 2015-16 fiscal year, a decrease from the 7.5 percent recorded in the 2014-15 fiscal year. Although the economy has enjoyed high-level growth in recent years, growth has been driven by the high-cost natural resource sector which has created only a small number of jobs so the benefits did not trickle down to the poor. In addition, families that have just been lifted above the poverty line remain vulnerable to dropping below it again when they are affected by events such as weather extremes. 

Keep reading