Bac Lieu Performing Well in its Poverty Fight

The Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu plans to lift 5,000 poor households above the poverty line this year, reducing its poverty rate to 1.9%, according to its steering committee for national target programs. To achieve the target, it will provide vocational training and jobs to at least 4,000 poor and near-poor people this year. It will also build houses for poor households and issue health insurance cards for free to all poor and near-poor households and households in especially difficult communes. It will study and classify the reasons for poverty to come up with detailed solutions for helping each household do business or undertake production, including loans on easy terms and setting up production facilities for them. Nguyen Quang Duong, secretary of the province’s Party Committee, said reducing poverty drastically is one of the most important targets. Localities and relevant agencies should implement the province’s poverty reduction programs more efficiently, he said. Last year the province had helped 8,650 families escape poverty, 4.2% higher than the target. It also provided vocational training for more than 14,000 people and introduced jobs for 24,5000 people in companies in the province and outside last year. The province Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs and localities effectively implemented policies for providing vocational training and jobs and introduced farming models for breeding fish, shrimp, crabs, and ostriches to poor and near-poor households. The local Fund for the poor and social security programs last year mobilized more than VND121 billion ($5.21 million) from various sources. The money was used to build charity houses, provide vocational training and jobs and undertake other activities to support the poor. The province carried out poverty-reduction advocacy activities to raise people’s awareness of sustainably escaping poverty. Nguyen Thi Mong Nghi of Phuoc Long District’s Phuoc Long Commune said she had received a soft loan of VND30 million ($1,290) to learn sewing and open a tailoring shop at home. She now earns more than VND6 million ($258) a month as a tailor to escape poverty, she said. But she said poor people have to be determined to escape poverty and work hard. The province has more than 8,800 poor households now. (Vietnam News Mar 4)