One corner of Ben Cat town, Binh Duong province. Binh Duong is the only locality in Vietnam having no poor and near poor households. (Photo: VNA)

Binh Duong (VNA) – The southern province of Binh Duong has become the only province in Vietnam that has no poor or near-poor households thanks to the province’s efforts to hit poverty reduction targets.

According to Ha Minh Trung, Vice Director of the provincial Department of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs, poverty alleviation has been at the heart of local socio-economic development policy. Various programmes have proved efficient, including credit schemes, housing support, healthcare support, education, vocational training and job introduction, Trung said.

From 2011-2015, the province splashed out more than 1 trillion VND (43.9 million USD) on poverty reduction, including 280 billion VND (12.3 million USD) mobilised from individuals and organisations. Meanwhile, some 500 billion VND (21.9 million USD) will be spent during 2016-2020 to support locals with healthcare insurance and tuition fees. In addition, a credit package worth 338 billion VND (14.8 million USD) was used to develop clean agriculture and vocational training.

Local farmers received financial support for pepper cultivation, poultry and cow husbandry and ornamental plant farming.

The province moved to a multidimensional approach to poverty reduction during 2016-2020 with income criteria 1.5 times higher than the country’s income standard. The local poverty line for rural areas was set at 1.2 million VND (52.8 USD) per person per month and the figure for urban areas was 1.4 million VND (61.5 USD) per person per month.

The multidimensional scale, based on both under-privileged people’s income and their access to fundamental services such as healthcare, education and housing, helped local authorities outline measures to support the needy.

Trung said that through the multidimensional approach, management agencies can identify insufficient areas and then build policies to reduce the gap.

The Binh Duong branch of the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies has allocated capital for households escaping from poverty and near poverty to implement clean water and environmental hygiene programmes and do business.

Promoting agro-forestry-fishery development and transferring technology for the poor are part of the locality’s efforts to ensure sustainable poverty reduction.-VNA