Viet Nam News
HCM CITY – The number of poor households in the Mekong Delta province of Long An fell from 4 per cent in 2016 to 2.9 per cent as of June this year, according to the province’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
The province for the last three years has implemented the National Target Programme on Sustainable Poverty Reduction for the 2016-20 period.
It has provided soft loans worth more than VNĐ6.5 trillion (US$280 million) for poor and near-poor households, and students to do business or study, according to the department.
During the period, the province provided vocational skills for 51,300 labourers and jobs for 117,000 labourers.
It has also provided 251,000 poor and near-poor people with free health insurance cards.
The province’s Fund for the Poor has mobilised nearly VNĐ43 billion ($1.8 million) from philanthropists to support poor and near-poor households.
The provincial Women’s Union has carried out several models to help poor women, including providing vocational skills.
In Thủ Thừa District, all poor female-headed households have been provided soft loans to do business.
Phạm Thị Hương, who lives in Thủ Thừa’s Mỹ An Commune, said the commune Women’s Union had helped her family borrow a soft loan worth VNĐ30 million ($1,290) from the Bank of Social Policy to breed pigs. “My family lives are stable now. Besides pigs, I also grow dragon fruit.”
Previously, Hương and her husbands worked as hired daily workers and had difficult lives.
Bùi Thị Trúc Linh, chairwoman of the Mỹ An Commune Women’s Union, said with the union’s support, many poor women had escaped poverty and improved their lives.
Since the beginning of the year, the commune-level Women’s Unions in Thủ Thừa have developed several models such as piggy banks and charity rice jars to raise money and rice to help the poor.
Mai Thị Hoa, deputy chairwoman of the Thủ Thừa District Women’s Union, said the union managed funds such as micro-credit for poor women and savings for health care.
“The union in co-operation with agencies has provided vocational skills and farming techniques for its members,” she said.
The district’s women unions have built eight charity houses for poor households so far this year, exceeding the target of two houses this year.
Since 2016 the province has built a total of 942 houses for poor households. – VNS