|Farming cows in Bình Phước Province’s Bù Gia Mập District. The province has various policies to help many poor ethnic households escape poverty like providing soft loans and teaching them farming techniques. — VNA/VNS Photo Sỹ Tuyên|
BÌNH PHƯỚC — The south-eastern province of Bình Phước expects to exceed its target for poverty reduction among ethnic groups this year as localities step up implementation of alleviation measures, according to its Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
It expects to drag an estimated 1,250 poor households above the poverty line against an annual target of 1,000 under a programme it launched last year.
Trần Văn Xuân, deputy director of the department, said this achievement would reduce the poverty rate by 1 percentage point to 1.56 per cent.
To implement the programme, the province has spent more than VNĐ75 billion (US$3.24 million) this year to help poor households repair and build houses, get access to electricity and water supply, build toilets, learn vocational skills, and get jobs.
The province has 40 ethnic minorities with a total of nearly 200,000 people, accounting for 20 per cent of its population.
Its poverty reduction policies have helped nearly 8,000 poor households escape poverty in 2015-20.
Điểu Thị Liệt, an ethnic S’Tiêng woman in Bù Gia Mập District’s Phước Minh Commune, used to be poor and was given a soft loan of VNĐ30 million ($1,300) to grow pepper two years ago.
The farm has developed well, and she has been able to pay back the loan. Then she was provided another loan of VNĐ50 million ($2,160) to open a grocery store in her house.
“The store now provides a steady income for my family, and my three children can go to school,” she said.
Phước Minh Commune has nearly 2,300 households, more than 30 per cent of them ethnic.
It seeks to reduce its poverty rate from 14.9 per cent in 2018 to 7.9 per cent this year, according to its People’s Committee.
Bùi Ngọc Thủy, its chairman, said thanks to the loans, poverty among ethnic people has reduced by half in just the last three years.
This year the province’s Fund for the Poor plans to build 719 ‘great solidarity’ houses for poor people, including 451 under the programme to reduce poverty by 1,000 households a year.
Chu Văn Vệ, a poor ethnic minority person living in Bù Đốp District’s Phước Thiện Commune, said his family has been given assistance to build a ‘great solidarity’ house.
Besides, he received under the anti-poverty programme two goat kids last year and now he raises 20 goats, he said.
He also got two cows and seedlings and was taught farming techniques to escape poverty, he said.
“I have registered with local authorities to move my family out of the poverty list this year.”
Many localities in the province encourage poor households to keep abreast of poverty norms, and give cash prizes and gifts to those that ask to be taken off the poverty list.
Lộc Ninh District, for instance, gave VNĐ2 million ($86) to each such household.
Lê Trường Sơn, secretary of the Lộc Ninh Party Committee and chairman of the Lộc Ninh People’s Committee, said the number of poor households in the district has reduced from 6.78 per cent in 2016 to 1.68 per cent this year.
Lộc Ninh Town and Lộc Thạnh have no poor households any longer, he added. — VNS