Late King's philosophy enlisted to cut poverty

Late King's philosophy enlisted to cut poverty

The Interior Ministry is stepping up efforts to tackle poverty, based on the sufficiency economy philosophy initiated by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great.

On Nov 21, Suttipong Juljarern, the ministry's permanent secretary, discussed poverty eradication measures with the Community Development Department, the Local Administrative Department, provincial governors, district chiefs and local administrative officials nationwide via video conferencing.

He told the meeting that provincial governors and local officials had worked with networks of allies to conduct door-to-door surveys about poverty among households nationwide.

Of the 14.5 million households surveyed over the past several months, more than 3.8 million were found to be occupied by people living below the poverty line.

So far, authorities have been able to ease the plight of 3.6 million or about 94%, he said.

Solutions were devised based on the late King's sufficiency economy philosophy and with the aid of an information system known as Thai QM (Thai Quarantine Monitor), he said.

Efforts are also being made to help the other households, Mr Suttipong said.

The Thai QM is a system originally developed by the information centre under the Provincial Administrative Department to track and screen people moving in and out of local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It has now been adjusted to support the ministry's efforts to overcome poverty.

Mr Suttipong said there are also another 6 million households in local municipalities nationwide that have not been surveyed yet.

"The Interior Ministry will have to make sure no one is left behind. We will have to survey households in every municipality so we can learn about their problems, such as informal loans, children's lack of education or even toilets that fail to meet sanitary standards,'' he said.

"We will also revisit households that were previously surveyed and which now face new problems which are often made known on social media," he said.

"Provincial governors, district chiefs, local organisations, volunteers, religious leaders, communities, and the media must work together to find ways to stamp out poverty," Mr Suttipong said.

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