The central province of Ha Tinh – one of the poorest localities of Vietnam has spent over 40 billion VND (1.9 million USD) supporting local poor people during the recent Lunar New Year (Tet) festival, the biggest annual holiday in Vietnam.

The money was spent on gifts for over 64,000 people who have rendered services to the nation, and 77,000 poor households, social welfare beneficiaries, the disabled and unfortunate children.

Another 3.6 billion VND (169,200 USD) was used to assist the elderly, according to the provincial Department of Labour, War Invalids, and Social Affairs.

The province also distributed 568 tonnes of rice to poverty-stricken families on the occasion.

The province aims to have an annual economic growth rate of 18.4 percent by 2020, with industrial, service and agricultural sectors accounting for 54.7 percent, 32.2 percent and 13.1 percent of the local economy respectively; and the number of poor households will be brought down by 3-4 percent per annum.

Its economic growth rate last year was estimated at 14 percent, with total budget revenue of 4.1 trillion VND and a GDP per capita of 19.6 million VND.-VNA