Harvesting cucumbers in Trà Vinh Province’s Trà Cú District. Trà Vinh has implemented several measures to mitigate poverty in recent years. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Hòa
TRÀ VINH — The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Trà Vinh has reduced poverty rapidly in recent years through drastic measures to support the poor.
It had only 9,214 poor households as of the end of last year, accounting for 3.2 per cent of the total number.
The province has provided soft loans to poor households to do business or carry on production, diversified livelihood models to reduce poverty and invested in infrastructure in poor areas to improve production.
It has also subsidised construction of houses and standard toilets by poor households and provided them access to clean water. It has also issued free health insurance cards to poor households and subsidised school fees for poor students.
Dương Quang Ngọc, deputy director of the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said last year the province spent VNĐ106 billion (US$4.6 million) from Government funds on infrastructure works, diversifying livelihood models and developing poverty mitigation models in poor areas.
It also issued nearly 480,000 free health insurance cards worth nearly VNĐ380 billion ($16.4 million) to poor and near-poor households last year, he said.
In Kim Hòa Commune, designated as ‘especially difficult’ in Châu Thành District, many poor households have escaped poverty through the support policies.
Kim Tuấn Sỹ of Kim Hòa, whose family used to be categorised as poor, said he and his wife had faced many difficulties because they lacked jobs or farmlands.
He received soft loans for raising cows for calves and has earned enough to build a house for VNĐ80 million ($3,500), he said.
“My family has escaped poverty.”
Kim Hòa has nearly 10,000 people and 70 per cent of them are ethnic Khmer.
The province has more than 320,000 Khmers, or 31.5 per cent of the total population.
The province's Women’s Union has at all levels created models to support the poor.
In Châu Thành District’s Thanh Mỹ Commune, it has helped many poor members escape poverty by providing them with loans, animal strains and plant seeds and farming techniques.
Nguyễn Thị Thanh Tuyền of Thanh Mỹ, a member, said she received a loan of VNĐ10 million ($430) to breed ducks three years ago but lost them all.
But later, the Women’s Union again provided her with a soft loan of VNĐ50 million ($2,150) to breed animals, and as a result her family has escaped poverty, she said.
Last year, she built a house for VNĐ35 million ($1,500), with VNĐ25 million provided by the Women’s Union, she said.
The Phú Thọ Hamlet Women’s Union, which has 281 members, has helped reduce the number of its poor members from 27 in 2017 to nine last year.
This year, the province is mobilising funds from various sources and implementing central and local programmes to sustainably reduce poverty.
It hopes to reduce its poverty rate by 1.5 percentage point this year. — VNS