As many as 323,200 households in the Mekong Delta got rid of poverty in 2014, exceeding the set target by 3.4 percent, according to the Steering Committee for the Southwestern Region (SCSR).

As a result, the poverty percentage dropped to 5.7 percent by the end of the year from 7.4 percent in 2013, said SCSR Deputy Head Nguyen Phong Quang.

Quang attributed the achievement, the most impressive so far, to regional localities’ efforts to promote economic expansion.

The ultimate 9 percent rise in GDP or 113.19 trillion VND (5.35 billion USD) paved the way for slashing poverty incidents effectively, he said.

To boost economic development, the localities invested 232 trillion VND (10.9 billion USD) into infrastructure, especially the transport system, he noted.

They adopted policies encouraging farmers to develop household-based production and the craft industry.
Vocational training courses were held for the poor, helping 387,000 land jobs.

Meanwhile, 1,616 billion VND (75.95 million USD) in loans were provided for disadvantaged households to boost production, Quang noted.

As many as 600,000 poor families were covered by health insurance.

At the same time, 138,000 households in flood-hit areas, including 27,000 poor ones, were supported to build or upgrade their houses to adapt to climate change.

In 2015, the authority is assisting 245,000 other households to escape from poverty, stated Quang.

The region will provide 125 trillion VND in loans for locals to spur production, while conducting 11,000 small projects totalling 220 trillion VND to create more jobs for poor labourers, he explained.-VNA