The Mekong Delta City of Can Tho plans to invest nearly 8 trillion VND (380 million USD) to develop its rural areas between 2010 and 2020, according to Pham Van Quynh, deputy head of the city’s Steering Committee for new-style rural area building programme.

The official was speaking at a December 26 ceremony to recognise Thanh Thang, the third commune meeting all 19 criteria of the programme in the city. The remaining 33 communes have met from nine to 18 criteria.

Under the programme, the investment is spent on improving local infrastructure, including inter-communal roads, irrigation works, health care facilities and schools as well as electricity and water supply. A major portion is also used for expanding effective agricultural and industrial production models and for personnel training.

The city aims to have 17 more communes meet all 19 criteria by 2020, of which seven will be recognised by 2015, and 10 others in between 2015-2020.

In 2014, the city’s poor household rate reduced to 2.8 percent, from 8 percent in 2009, while its per-capita income hit 58 million VND (2,700 USD), the highest level of the region.-VNA