National target poverty reduction programme and State investments have enabled 12 northern provinces, which all together shape the poorest area in the country, to reduce the number of poor households to 24.68 percent in 2012.

The number of households living above the poverty line was kept at 10.83 percent, it was reported at a symposium held in Yen Bai province on January 28 to review policies to combat poverty and provide social welfare and job training for ethnic minorities in the north.

The national vocational training and job placement programme earmarked 379.3 billion VND and the national sustainable poverty programme poured more than 2.4 trillion VND into these localities in 2012.

As a result, around 111,500 people in the localities, or 7.3 percent of the country’s workforce, landed jobs. Almost 5,000 people were sent to work abroad under labour contracts.

However, only 39.3 percent of the region’s workforce was trained.

Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen has underscored the results of poverty reduction and social relief policies for northern mountainous ethnic people.

She, however, said these policies need to be adjusted and State management over the implementation be renewed to suit reality in the region, where poor ethnic minority people are residing mostly in remote, mountainous areas.

Chuyen said her ministry will report to the Government the results of the policy in order to make it better and further improve these localities’ short-term vocational training capacity.

The 12 provinces include Yen Bai, Lao Cai, Son La, Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Hoa Binh, Phu Tho, Tuyen Quang, Ha Giang, Cao Bang, Bac Kan and Lang Son.-VNA