A consultative conference regarding the expansion of a World Bank-funded poverty reduction project in Vietnam’s northern mountainous provinces was held in Hoa Binh province on March 18-19.

The six-year project, starting from 2010, has a budget of 165 million USD with 150 million USD coming from the WB and the rest from the Vietnamese Government.

It targets more than 2,300 villages in 27 districts of the six northern mountainous provinces of Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Son La, Hoa Binh, Lai Chau and Dien Bien.

Participants at the event focused their discussion on the adjustment of the project’s components and how to encourage communes to keep up the activities started by the project.

They proposed the World Bank and the project’s coordinating board organise more training courses in bidding, financial management and contract control for local officials.

In Hoa Binh province alone, the project has helped build farmer groups to grow ginger, passion fruit and sugar-cane in Mai Chau, Lac Son, Yen Thuy, Tan Lac and Da Bac districts, benefiting about 19,000 households.-VNA