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POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGY IN THAILAND

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Title: POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGY IN THAILAND


1
POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGY IN THAILAND
  • Dr Monthip Sriratana Tabucanon
  • Deputy Permanent Secretary
  • Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Bangkok, Thailand

2
I) INTRODUCTION
  • The Royal Thai Government (RTG) has recognized
    the holistic approach to poverty reduction since
    2001. The RTG has declared the poverty reduction
    as the National Agenda and has set the goal to
    combat with the poverty.

3
  • In the context of development of Thailand. The
    Government has identified the target groups who
    live in poverty.
  • Poverty is the multidimensional problem and there
    is an attempt from the Government to get out of
    poverty by 2008.

4
  • With that perspective, the poverty is actually
    considered as a structural problem which has
    resulted eventually and gradually from many
    factors over a long period of time and thus
    requires various measures accordingly.

5
II) SITUATION OF POVERTY IN THAILAND
  • The governments have important roles in poverty
    reduction, but their records are mixed with the
    both successes and failures.
  • The most successful poverty reducing policies are
    perhaps the implementation of sound macroeconomic
    policy and the promotion of efficient resource
    allocation.

6
  • Policies targeting the poor are often plagued
    with a wide range of implementation deficiencies
    that usually result in either the assistance
    leaked to the non-poor or the poor have no access
    to the assistance.

7
Table 1 Access by the Poor to Various Poverty
Programs in 2002 ( of respective groups)
Poverty Programs Poor Vulnerable Non-poor, Non-Vulnerable Total
Universal Health Care (30 Baht Scheme) 85.4 86.0 67.1 69.7
Social Insurance 0.5 0.8 9.3 8.1
Old Age Assistance 0.5 0.7 0.4 0.4
Debt Moratorium 2.4 2.4 1.9 2.0
Farmers Assistance Fund 0.9 0.9 0.5 0.6
School Lunch Program 11.1 12.4 6.8 7.5
Education Scholarship 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2
Education Loans 0.9 1.1 0.6 0.6
People Bank 0.1 0.0 0.2 0.2
Village Revolving Fund 7.0 8.4 7.6 7.6
Source Socio-Economic Survey 2002, The National
Statistics Office Note The Vulnerable Group is
defined as individuals whose household incomes
were below 1.2 times of the poverty lines.
8
The target groups divided into three categories
  • The extreme or chronically poor, conceptually the
    poor people who are facing extreme hardship and
    find it more difficult than others.
  • The moderately poor, defined as those currently
    living in poverty but are capable of escaping
    poverty on their own if the economy is growing at
    its traditional rates.

9
  • For the PSA-Poverty, the government set the
    objective to reduce income poverty to be no more
    than 12 percent of population within the year
    2006.

10
Table 2 Ad Hoc Characteristics of the
PSA-Poverty Target Groups
The Extreme/ Chronically Poor The Moderately Poor The Vulnerable
Facing Extreme Hardship No Education No Savings and Assets (both durable and non-durable) General workers with high family dependents such as children, elderly, chronically illed or disabled members Low Education No Savings, May possess some low-valued non-durable assets Farmers with little lands and low yields Peddlers No higher than secondary education Little savings No access to formal credits Farmers with sufficient lands but locating in high risk areas
11
Table 2 Ad Hoc Characteristics of the
PSA-Poverty Target Groups
The Extreme/ Chronically Poor The Moderately Poor The Vulnerable
Landless Farmers Child Labors Agricultural Temporary Worker Unemployed with no other income Having jobs with high risk of accident Workers with sufficient income but unstable jobs Middle-aged workers with no modern skills Petty Traders with no permanent stores Low-income earners lacking ability to plan
12
III) POVETRY REDUCTION APPROACHES AND POLICIES
  • The government to deal with poverty problems are
  • 3.1 Policy directly on poverty reduction
  • 3.2 Policy on developing the quality of both poor
    and society by means of securing housing of the
    poor
  • 3.3 Policy on natural resource and environmental
    management

13
3.1 Policy directly on poverty reduction
  • Aims to implement at all levels namely
    individual, community and national.
  • At individual level, the government emphasizes
    particularly on expense reduction, increase
    generation and opportunity provision.

14
3.1 Policy directly on poverty reduction
  • At the community level, the community
    participation and learning process is encouraged
    so as to mobilize people to collaboratively solve
    problems and meet needs of the community.

15
3.1 Policy directly on poverty reduction
  • Financial assistance is also made available to
    ensure the poor have access to the fund. At the
    national level, an attempt is made to reform,
    restructure and manage land, natural resource,
    and environment to be supportive of the poor.

16
3.2 Policy on developing the quality of both poor
and society by means of securing housing of the
poor
17
3.3 Policy on natural resource and environmental
management
  • Aims at the balance between the utilization and
    conservation of the natural resources and
    environment
  • should be done collaboratively by both government
    and private sectors.

18
3.3 Policy on natural resource and environmental
management
  • The government takes the integrated approach to
    mobilize all relevant government agencies to
    concert their available resources combat to
    poverty at all levels.
  • The Area-Function-Participation (A-F-P) Approach
    is emphasized when implementing poverty
    eradication activities at the grassroots levels.

19
3.3 Policy on natural resource and environmental
management
  • A village or a community or Tambon (sub-district)
    will be a development base for which all
    government agencies concerned integrated their
    services to help the poor to improve their
    conditions and from which not only the poor but
    other fellow men are encouraged to take part in
    poverty reduction activities.

20
IV) STRATEGIES AND ACTION PLAN
  • The Government uses the Household Basic Minimum
    Needs (BMN) data, which is collected from rural
    households for every year, to identify the
    households that have per capita income per annum
    is lower than the poverty line 20,000 baht. As
    of April 2004, 1,388,994 households were
    identified to have lived under poverty line and
    thus became the target group.

21
  • The Government has campaigned on the social
    problem registration of the people who truly need
    assistance to register during the period of March
    2004.
  • The poor are encouraged to register their
    problems across the country. The reports are
    produced.

22
  • The community forums, both in rural and urban
    communities, were conducted to verify the target
    groups. As a result, there are approximately 7.62
    million poor registered and subsequently 7.23
    million verified after 70,881 forums conducted.
  • As for the urban communities, 1.06 million poor
    registered but only 1.03 million poor verified
    after 11,377 forums conducted.

23
  • The finding revealed that the registered poor had
    the following problems.
  • Landless Lack of farmland
  • Wanderer Wandering homeless
  • Illegal Occupations
  • Students taking improper jobs
  • Deception deceived to be poor
  • Indebtedness peoples debt
  • Homeless lack of housing

24
  • These problems were informed to the related
    government agencies for solving the problems.
    During the period of one year, as of April 2,
    2005. There were 2,476,442 out of 12,266,459 of
    the registered poor from all areas and of all
    categories were assisted (20.19).

25
4.3 Integration and mobilization of all sectors.
  • The government established the Center for Fights
    against Poverty in all involved government
    agencies and at all levels, namely national,
    ministerial, departmental, provincial and
    district. The integrated strategic development
    plans were encouraged at the national, provincial
    and Tambon levels.

26
  • The government has provided comprehensive
    assistance for all people at the grassroots level
    inclusively. The assistance is meant to support
    people in expense reduction, income generation
    and opportunity provision.

27
The Assistance generally includes the following
  • Community Development Master Plan (process and
    programs)
  • Community and Village Fund (One million)
  • One Tambon One Product (OTOP)
  • Poverty Alleviation Project
  • Provincial Integrated Development Management (CEO)

28
The Assistance generally includes the following
  • Land Reform
  • Savings Group for Production
  • People Bank
  • Health for All (30 Baht for all)
  • People Debt Management
  • Assets Capitalization

29
V) CONCLUSION
  • Using Community based approach, the Thai
    Governments has attempted to provide enabling
    facilities and resources to support the people in
    both rural and urban communities to work together
    to solve and meet personal and community problems
    and needs, respectively.

30
V) CONCLUSION
  • The people are also facilitated by both
    government and civic sectors to act on the
    matters by themselves through the community
    participation and learning process. Having
    learned by doing or action, people, the rich and
    non-rich alike, will eventually gain more
    knowledge and skill, and thus confidence, in
    managing their lives, as well as communities.
  • As such, sustainable development seems achievable
    in the case of Thailand.

31
Thank You
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