Thirty million people access soft loans in 15 years

 Over 30 million poor households and other welfare beneficiaries have accessed soft loans from the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) as of the end of August 2017, according to the VBSP.

The VBSP was established on October 4, 2002 to implement preferential credit policies targeting disadvantaged groups. Over the past 15 years, its soft loans have helped more than 4.5 million families escape from poverty; created jobs for 3.5 million people, including 111,000 overseas guest workers; and enabled over 3.5 million poor students to continue education.

The bank has also funded the construction of approximately 10 million rural clean water and environment treatment facilities; 520,000 houses for poor people and welfare policy beneficiaries and about 116,000 storm and flood-resistant houses, mostly in the Mekong Delta.

By the end of August, the bank’s total outstanding loans stood at an estimated 167 trillion VND (7.34 billion USD) with bad debts accounting for only 0.43 percent.

Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Dao Minh Tu said the VBSP has contributed to preventing predatory lending practices in rural areas, encouraging the poor to save money for their future and implementing the national target programme on sustainable poverty reduction.

The percentage of poor households across the country declined from 11.8 percent in 2010 to 4.25 percent in 2015.

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