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Northwest residents struggle to escape from prolonged poverty

Update: December, 11/2015 - 08:00
A doctor examines a child at the Medical Centre of Cho Don District, Bac Kan Province. The level of poverty in the northwest region of Viet Nam is 2.7 times higher than in the rest of the country. — VNA/VNS Photo Ngo Lich

HA NOI (VNS) — The level of poverty in the northwest region of Viet Nam is 2.7 times higher than in the rest of the country.

This was announced at a conference yesterday to discuss rapid and sustainable poverty reduction measures in the six northwest provinces of Ha Giang, Cao Bang, Yen Bai, and Son La, apart from Dien Bien, and Lai Chau, which have a high rate of poverty.

Viet Nam had recorded achievements in poverty alleviation over the last few years and realised the poverty reduction goal set by the United Nations ahead of the deadline, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said.

In many regions, including the northwest provinces, the level of poverty was still high though it had decreased sharply as compared to a decade earlier, Phuc said.

Favourable policy mechanisms and resources had been given to the northwest region to help the locality reduce poverty levels quickly, Phuc said.

However, poverty in the northwest region was 2.7 times higher than the average poverty of the whole country due to disadvantages in terms of natural conditions, cultivation, poor infrastructure, and low intellectual levels, in addition to the unique practices in the region, according to Phuc.

The gap between the northwest and the rest of the country was widening, Phuc said.

Reducing poverty in this region had been the toughest task in realising the nation's goal, he said.

"Poverty reduction measures should be implemented in a synchronised, comprehensive and effective way, so that locals get a better salary and have full access to basic social services at the same time. It is very important that the root causes of poverty are identified and eliminated," Phuc said.

"Measures should be based on root cause of poverty and vary in different regions".

The deputies agreed on solutions to reduce poverty in the six northwest provinces.

Preferential loans within a limited period should be replaced with the current policy of granting money to create a higher sense of responsibility among the poor as well as avoid their attitude of dependency on government support.

In addition, policies attracting investment in agriculture, forestry, and tourism need to be made available to create jobs for rural labourers in poor areas. — VNS

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