Information technology key to alleviate poverty: seminar

16:28 | 23/07/2017 Society

Vietnam has pledged efforts to promote the application of information and communication technology (ICT) in poverty reduction and sustainable development, said Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong.

Vietnam's delegation at the event - Photo: VNA

He made the statement at an international seminar jointly held on July 17 in New York by Vietnam, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Italy, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The event was oraganised on the sidelines of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) high-level segment.

Vietnam will invest VND11 trillion (US$484 million) from the Public-Utility Telecommunication Service Fund by 2020 to ensure that internet and other telecommunication services are accessible to all schools, hospitals, communes, poor and near-poor households, highlighted Phuong, who is also head of the Vietnamese delegation to the ECOSOC high-level segment.

He shared Vietnam’s challenges in the field, including capacity of local authorities, application skills of people, and data base.

Phuong added that the full involvement of the State, local people, businesses and foreign partners will speed up the country’s ICT application in poverty alleviation and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation.

At the event, international representatives said that ICT is a key tool to implement SDGs, contributing to generating jobs, eradicating poverty and ensuring social welfare.

Specific experiences in ICT application were shared, including simplifying administrative procedures on land for farmers, building up the poor’s healthcare record, promoting education and vocational training and providing online financial services for production households and vulnerable groups.

They also gave out recommendations on low-cost ICT solutions to enhance economic efficiency, governments’ support for direct dialogues between local people, businesses and ICT service providers as well as study on the possibility of latest ICT application in poverty reduction like artificial intelligence and 3D printing.

Besides encouraging bilateral cooperation, the participants called for the UN’s support for developing nations through the its organisations like the UNDP and ITU.

The international seminar was initiative of Vietnam as an ECOSOC member for 2016-2018 tenure, aiming to make contributions to the discussion of the high-level segment themed “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”.