Why is Vietnam still poor
The social situation in Vietnam
War and socialism shape the country despite the end of the Vietnam War and its economic opening in the eighties to this day on all levels. The economic reforms did improve the economic situation, inflation fell sharply and famines, previously a major problem in the planned economy, have not occurred since then. But the country still has deficits, especially in the social sector. Above all, the differences between rich and poor are increasing. The introduction of market-economy structures has thus greatly improved the standard of living of some people, but has not solved fundamental social problems. The differences between rural and urban populations are particularly serious.
These differences are evident in the field of education. On the one hand, the education sector is subject to numerous reforms and the Vietnamese state is investing in training young people. However, these reforms are particularly effective in the cities, where school education is of high quality, as there are sufficiently well-trained teachers and people can afford the school fees. Overall, the literacy rate in Vietnam is around 93%, which is very high for a Southeast Asian country. In rural areas, on the other hand, the education system still has many deficits. Most children have to drop out of school after primary school because their parents cannot afford the school fees, school uniforms and teaching materials. In addition, the children are needed to work in the fields, because Vietnam is still a country that lives mainly from agriculture. Furthermore, there is a shortage of well-trained teachers and teaching materials in the countryside. The higher education sector has to contend with very few available places and massive corruption in the administration.
Another problem facing the country is the lack of opportunities for citizens to influence political events. In addition to the communist party and its subsidiary organizations, all other political parties and associations are banned. The press is subject to severe political censorship, which does not tolerate any criticism of the existing conditions. Civil rights activists and critics are persecuted, arrested and often sentenced to extremely long prison terms.
The Vietnam War left massive damage to the environment in Vietnam, which is still noticeable today. Various environmental toxins that the US used during the war have an impact on nature. Large parts of the Vietnamese mangrove swamps, which are difficult to regenerate, were destroyed during the war. The defoliant used has destroyed many forests in the interior of the country, the poison is still effective today, so that reforestation is very difficult. The absence of these forests encourages flooding and erosion in the rainy season. Slash-and-burn also contributes to this. The rural poor are burning down the forests to gain arable land. The country's unique wildlife is suffering greatly from habitat loss.
Medical care in Vietnam cannot be compared with European standards. The supply is inadequate in many respects, such as the equipment in hospitals. The Federal Foreign Office also warns of infectious diseases, malaria and cholera.
—The social situation in Vietnam:
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The Vietnamese state severely punishes offenses against the Narcotics Act. Owning larger quantities even threatens the death penalty, even for foreigners. Nevertheless, the country is grappling with a massive drug problem. Synthetic drugs in particular, such as amphetamines and ecstasy, have been flooding the country from Cambodia for several years.
Opium grown in the country is also a problem: it is estimated that there are up to 200,000 opium addicts in the country. Heroin consumption and the associated use of unclean syringes are the leading cause of HIV infection in the country. Addicts were locked in labor camps for a long time, but the government is now seeking therapeutic measures to provide long-term relief.
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