Mekong Delta provinces will strive to help more than 44,000 households escape poverty this year, bringing the region’s poverty rate down to 6 percent from 7.2 percent at the end of 2013.

Toward this goal, policies will be adopted to facilitate the development of household economy and farms as well as small industry and traditional crafts, thus increasing incomes for farmers.

At the same time, vocational training and job placement in rural areas will be improved to help poor labourers find a suitable livelihood.

A programme to build new residential areas safe from flood will continue to be implemented this year with the goal of settling 138,000 households including 27,000 poor families. More poor ethnic minority households will be given land for housing.

Provinces in the region will also grant health insurance cards to poor people to cushion them against risks.

Another target of the region this year is to raise its annual average per capita income to 37 million VND (roughly 1,740 USD), up 6.9 percent from 2013.

The country’s annual average per capita income was 1,960 USD last year.

The Mekong Delta region, the largest granary and aquaculture region of the country, comprises of 12 provinces and one centrally-run city with a population of 18 million.-VNA