Long An Province reduces poverty with efficient credit programme

February 01, 2023 - 10:06
The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Long An has taken effective measures to eradicate poverty.
Nguyễn Thị Kim Hồng in Long An Province’s Tân An City feeds her cattle. She received a soft loan from the government to set up her business, and has managed to escape poverty. – VNA/VNS Photo Đức Hạnh

LONG AN – The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Long An has taken effective measures to eradicate poverty.

It had only 6,234 poor households, or 1.3 per cent of the total number, as of the middle of last year, according to its Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

A programme that provides soft loans to poor and near-poor people to do some business has been one of the major reasons for the significant and sustainable reduction in poverty.

Lê Văn Chinh in Kiến Tường Town’s Thạnh Hưng Commune used to be poor, and received loans on two occasions under the programme and has escaped poverty.

He first got VNĐ20 million (US$850) to breed chickens in 2016, and repaid the loan in 2019.

He then wanted to switch to growing hydroponic vegetables in combination with breeding fish, and got a loan worth VNĐ50 million ($1,200).

“I now earn an income of VNĐ12-15 million ($510- 637) a month,” he said.

The Việt Nam Bank for Social Policy collaborates with socio-political organisations in the province to provide the loans.

The latter have established 2,651 savings and credit groups covering all hamlets and other residential areas.

Each group has an average of 43 members and loans outstanding of VNĐ1.7 billion ($72,300).

Võ Ngọc Việt Hà, head of the Nhà Dài residential area savings and credit group in Thủ Thừa District’s Thủ Thừa Town, said six poor and nine near-poor households in his group escaped poverty thanks to the loans.

Besides, nearly 40 households installed clean water containers and nearly 30 people were continuing their study, he added.

Socio-political organisations such as women’s unions have also taken other measures to help poor and near-poor households.

The Đức Hoà District Women’s Union has, for instance, created livelihoods and jobs for many members.

Võ Thị Ngọc Nương in Đức Hoà’s Hiệp Hoà Commune lives alone and used to be a casual labourer and so did not have a regular unstable income. The Đức Hoà District Women’s Union has given her a sewing machine.

Now she earns a steady income stitching clothes and other items.

Lê Thị Cẩm Tú, chairwoman of the women’s union, said it had also implemented models and programmes that help women set up start-up businesses and escape poverty.

Last year the Government granted the province VNĐ32 billion ($1.4 million) under the national target programme for sustainable poverty reduction.

Long An used the money to build infrastructure, create livelihoods, teach vocational skills, and provide jobs to poor people.

Phạm Tấn Hoà, deputy chairman of the province People’s Committee, said the soft loan programme had become one of the basic tools for implementing the national target programme for sustainable poverty reduction.

It had helped reduce poverty significantly, develop the rural economy and build new-style rural areas, he added. – VNS