Nearly 95 percent of communes in the Mekong Delta’s provinces and cities joined the national new-style rural area building programme, according to the Southwest Steering Committee.

They meet an average of 9.23 criteria, up by 3.19 criteria points compared to 2011 and 0.9 criteria points higher than the national average, which puts the Mekong Delta in the lead for building new-style rural areas.

The Mekong Delta is home to 19 communes that meet all 19 requirements of the programme, with many localities selected as role models for the programme, such as Dinh Hoa commune in Tien Giang province, My Long Nam commune in Tra Vinh province, and Phuoc Long district in Bac Lieu province, and An Giang province.

After three years of implementation with a total investment of more than 124.34 trillion VND (5.9 billion USD), the delta has seen substantial improvements, especially in Long An, Soc Trang and Vinh Long provinces and Can Tho city.

The programme helped increase the average per capita income and improve living conditions for local residents, reducing the rates of poor households and near-poor households by 4.52 percent and 0.54 percent, respectively.

The national programme on new-style rural area building, initiated by the Government in 2010 sets out 19 criteria for socio-economic development, politics, and security–defence, aiming to revitalise Vietnam’s rural areas.

Measures include building infrastructure, improving production capacities, constructing public facilities, protecting the landscape and the environment, and promoting local traditions and cultural identities.-VNA