Information technology key to alleviate poverty: seminar

Vietnam’s delegation at the event (Photo: VNA)


   

New York (VNA) – 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.

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 11 trillion VND (484 million USD) 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”.-VNA



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