As many as 40,000 families in central provinces will receive financial assistance to build flood-proof houses under a Ministry of Construction proposal approved by the Government on February 20.

"Solid houses and other facilities must be built in flood-prone areas," Deputy Minister Nguyen Tran Nam told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

To qualify for the assistance, households must be located in flood-prone, remote villages in the provinces of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan, as well as the city of Da Nang.

The programme will help 15,000 poor families in 2014 with a total of 156 billion VND (7.4 million USD) from the State budget. Another 25,000 households will receive support in 2015.

Each household will receive 10 million VND (about 500 USD) each, while families living in remote areas that face great difficulties will receive 12 million VND (nearly 600 USD) each. They will also be able to apply for preferential loans of up to 15 million VND (700 USD) from social policy banks.

The project costs about 1 trillion VND (nearly 48 million USD), much less than the cost of dealing with the aftermath of floods, Nam pointed out. Recently, the Government gave 2 trillion VND (over 95 million USD) in flood relief funds to four central provinces.

Under a pilot project in 2012, some 700 flood-resistant houses were built in 14 communes of seven central provinces. They have remained solid despite recent floods, the deputy minister said.-VNA