Government allocates USD115 million for poor areas
  • | VNA | January 07, 2013 08:19 PM
The Government has decided to spend VND2.4 trillion (USD115.2 million) to support 23 poor districts nationwide to reduce poverty quickly and sustainably in the next five years.
According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, these 23 districts were mainly home to ethnic groups and 50 percent of households had incomes of less than VND400,000 (USD19) per head a month.

The ministry said in these districts, infrastructure was poor and out of date, especially roads from district centres to communes and hamlets, irrigation works, electricity networks, schools and clinics.

The extra funding will enable the districts to provide boarding schools for ethnic students, build vocational schools, irrigation works and communication routes from 2015-17.

More public schools, inter-communal roads, roads to concentrated economic zones, electricity projects and water supply plants will also be funded.

The poor districts are located in northern Cao Bang, Tuyen Quang, Lao Cai, Lang Son, Dien Bien and Hoa Binh provinces and the three central provinces of Nghe An, Quang Nam and Phu Yen and two Central Highland provinces of Kon Tum and Gia Lai.

The Government has asked the Ministries of Finance, Planning and Investment to mobilise financial sources to give priority to essential construction works in these districts.

Vice Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Trong Dam said that although many households had managed to make it above the poverty line, they were at risk of falling back.

He said most ethnic people lived in disadvantaged areas that suffered from harsh weather and epidemics. Their ability to apply modern technology in agricultural production was low and their custom of living in remote areas also made it difficult to extricate them from poverty.

A report, which surveyed 6,000 ethnic households in December, showed that 14.3 percent of households that had previously succeeded in making it above the poverty line had slipped back.

A shortage of clean water was said to be impeding progress. Only 13 percent of households had tap water.

Figures from the ministry showed that the new official poverty line, which had been applied since late last year, had increased the number of poor households in the country from 11 to 15 percent. This amounted to about 3.3 million households.

Up to 90 percent of poor people live in rural areas, especially in mountainous area, the main habitats of ethnic minorities.

Under the new poverty line, poor people in urban areas have a monthly income of VND500,000 (USD23) and for rural areas, VND400,000 (USD19). The previous poverty line was at VND260,000 (USD12) in urban areas and VND200,000 (USD9.5) in rural areas.

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