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Updated: 2018-04-15 18:36:05

People with disabilities in need of exclusive source of low-cost loans

(VBSP News) Millions of working-age people with disabilities who have the ability to work are in need of help to access soft loans to pursue vocational training and employment but there is an absence of a source of soft loans exclusively designed for them.

Người khuyết tật khởi nghiệp: Cần có nguồn vốn hỗ trợ riêng

Mr. Yasunobu Ishii Senior Program Director, Nippon Foundation made a ceremony speech at the seminar

Difficulties and challenges

The problem was brought to light at a workshop on policy and credit solutions to develop vocational training and employment for persons with disabilities and promote their products in Hanoi on April 12. The workshop was co-held by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP).

Statistics by the MOLISA show that Vietnam is home to about 8 million people with disabilities aged above 5 years old, most of whom (87.2 percent) are living in rural areas. Of the disabled population, some 65 percent are at working age; about 40 percent have the ability to work; but only 30 percent are actually working to earn a living for themselves and their families.

Dinh Thi Quynh Nga, a disabled woman and director of a Hanoi based handicraft cooperative which employs dozens of workers with disabilities, said the workers there have acquired necessary working skills but they all experience financial difficulties. 

“People with disabilities who want to take part in the cooperative must make a contribution to the charter capital, but all of them are living under difficult circumstances and dependent on their family,” she said, adding that it is the reason why it is hard for the cooperative to expand. 

The VBSP is providing people with disabilities and businesses who employ people with disabilities with loans sourced by the National Fund for Job Assistance and the Nippon Foundation of Japan but there is yet a source of low-cost loans exclusively designed for people with disabilities, said MoLISA Deputy Minister Le Tan Dung.

Phó Tổng Giám đốc Nguyễn Văn Lý phát biểu tại Hội thảo

Deputy General Director of VBSP Nguyen Van Ly delivered an opening speech at the seminar

 Deputy General Director of VBSP Nguyen Van Ly said: "Over the past 15 operation years, VBSP has launched more than 20 policy credit programs for the poor, persons with disability (PWDs) and other disadvantaged groups, contributing to supporting them improve livelihood, poverty reduction and ensuring social security, building new rural areas".

Remarkably, VBSP has provided loan for PWDs through the National Employment Fund and through the project "Expanding inclusive finance access to people with disabilities" funded by the Japan Nippon Fund for the purpose of enabling PWDs, especially PWD's enterprises to start up business or expand production and business to generate sustainable income and have economic independence, contributing to raising their status in society.

In 2017, VBSP offered soft loans to four new projects employing a large number of persons with disabilities and some 2,360 projects run by persons with disabilities, which provide employment to a total of 2,540 people with disabilities. Its disabled clients were estimated at more than 11,000 people.
So far, total outstanding loans for PWDs and PWD's enterprises reaches VND 118 billion, serving 5,838 active customers, accounting for 0.07% in total loan portfolio of VBSP. In particular, outstanding loans from the National Fund for Employment For PWDs and PWD's enterprises are VND 113 billion, with 5,794 active customers. Outstanding loans from the Nippon project is 4.5 billion, with 24 active customers. Overdue debt accounted for only 0.37% of total outstanding loans of VBSP.

However, VBSP Deputy Director General Nguyen Van Ly noted that credit for PWDs is mainly from one small component of National Employment Fund and the Nippon project. Since 2014, due to limited state budget, the National Fund for Employment has not provided funding for VBSP to expand job creation loans to disadvantaged groups, including people with disabilities. Therefore, workers with disabilities are not able to access more preferential capital sources to create jobs. On the other hand, there is no mechanism and no allocation of loans for this object, resulting in the proportion of people

To date, there is still an absence of a special mechanism to give soft loans to people with disabilities; as a result, very few PWDs are able to access low-cost loans for improving livelihood.

Necessity for increasing a special fund for PWDs

Ly suggested the government to review legal documents on people with disabilities, increase annual funding for the National Fund for Job Assistance and set up a special fund providing low-cost loans to people with disabilities and employers of people with disabilities.

He also advised the local governments to allocate funding for such type of loans and closely work with the VBSP to improve the quality of social quality credit services for disabled people.

Along with the seminar, during 02 days from 12th -13th April 2018 launching such activities for PWDs to exchange: product display, music exchange, job information, financial services for PWDs, securities, healthcare etc. for PWDs.

Giám đốc Công ty cổ phần VBPO (TP Đà Nẵng) Trần Mạnh Huy đang giới thiệu quy mô hoạt động công ty với Đại diện lãnh đạo của Quỹ NIPPON Nhật Bản

Mr. Ishii asked one customer of the Nippon project about the loan use impact

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Các sản phẩm thủ công của người khuyết tật được trưng bày, giới thiệu bên lề Hội thảo

Some photos about products display at the event attracting the community

Source: Vietnamnews

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