|A farmer in Vĩnh Long Province's Long Hồ District raises goats bought using a soft loan from the Việt Nam Bank for Social Policies . — VNA/VNS Photo Lê Thúy Hằng|
VĨNH LONG — Many poor households in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Vĩnh Long have escaped poverty through central and local poverty alleviation programmes that provide soft loans to carry on business or agriculture.
Thạch Tùng of Trà Ôn District’s Tân Mỹ Commune for instance received a loan of VNĐ42 million (US$1,800) from the Việt Nam Bank for Social Policies in 2017.
He used the loan to breed oxen and has managed to rise above the poverty line.
The bank’s Vĩnh Long Province branch, since 2016, has provided loans worth a total of VNĐ1.94 trillion ($83.2 million) to more than 88,000 poor households and those eligible for policy preferences like war martyrs' families.
The loans have helped them revamp their agriculture and adopt efficient farming models like breeding oxen and cows and growing green peel and pink flesh grapefruit.
Trần Hùng, director of the branch, said the soft loans policies and the province’s socio-economic development programmes have contributed much to reducing poverty, creating jobs and ensuring social security.
The soft loans have helped more than 20,000 poor and near-poor households escape poverty, he said.
The bank targets that all poor and near-poor households requiring and eligible for loans get them.
The province has provided training to poor households in techniques for breeding oxen and cows and in vocational skills for free.
Last year nearly 1,000 poor people received training in vocational skills at a cost of VNĐ1.5 billion ($64,350) the province raised from various sources, including from its Fund for the Poor and social security programmes, according to its Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
The Fund for the Poor raised donations of nearly VNĐ223 billion ($9.6 million) in 2014 -18 from philanthropic organisations and individuals to support the poor, according to the local Fatherland Front Committee.
The committee has instituted several models for helping the poor like building charity houses and providing rice, cows and scholarships.
It built more than 8,350 charity houses in 2014-18.
Last year the province issued free health insurance cards to 27,413 poor people and 38,391 near-poor people, ensuring that everyone in the two categories have the cards.
The rate of poor households in the province has fallen from 6.26 per cent in 2015 to 2.63 per cent, or 7,363 households, last year.
The province plans to reduce the poverty rate to 0.8 per cent this year. VNS