A corner of Soc Trang city (Photo: VNA)

Soc Trang (VNA) –
The living standards of Khmer ethnic people in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang have been improved in recent years thanks to the Party and State’s investment policies to develop the region.

Soc Trang has the largest number of Khmer people in the country with more than 400,000, making up 31 percent of the provincial population. 

In 2017, the province helped more than 5,000 Khmer families escape poverty, reducing the ratio of poor Khmer households to 17.95 percent. About 96.5 percent of Khmer households now have access to hygienic water while nearly 100 percent have electricity.

Soc Trang has nine boarding schools for ethnic minorities and 159 Vietnamese-Khmer bilingual schools with nearly 146,800 students.

Deputy head of the provincial department of ethnic affairs Ly Soc Kha said the quick reduction of poor Khmer households was attributed to the implementation of the Party and State’s policies to support investment in building infrastructure, transferring technology and helping locals develop animal husbandry.

In 2017, the government invested more than 100 billion VND (4.4 million USD) to develop the Khmer ethnic region by providing policies to support land for accommodation and production, change jobs, build electricity and water supply facilities, and help dozens of Khmer households access loans.

Notably, Programme 135, which was launched in 1998, has helped raise living standards of people in remote and mountainous areas, Kha said.

In 2017, Soc Trang supported nearly 60 billion VND for disadvantaged Khmer communes to build roads, irrigation systems and community houses as well as develop production and expand poverty reduction models.

Mai Thanh Cau, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Thanh Phu commune, said thanks to the Party and State’s ethnic policies, especially Programme 135, local lives have changed for the better. 

The programme has assisted rural residents in building houses, roads and irrigation facilities and adopting effective business models, he added.

Head of the Soc Trang department for ethnic affairs Ly Binh Cang said the government has approved total investment of more than 490 billion VND for Soc Trang to support accommodation and production land and water supply for poor Khmer households in the locality in 2018.-VNA