Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has called for a thorough review of poverty reduction policies in the northwestern region, home to over 30 ethnic groups.

He made the suggestion during a working session held with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) in Hanoi on March 6.

The region holds an important position in terms of socio-economics, security and national defence. Its economy, however, lags far behind other localities. Over 70 percent of its workforce is focused in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors.

Phuc, who is also the head of the Steering Committee for the Northwestern Region, hailed MoLISA for bringing down the poverty incidence, adding that this task is also the responsibility of other ministries, departments and local administrations. He asked them to continue this to narrow the wealth gap and raise public awareness of fighting social vices.

The official requested that vocational training should go hand in hand with job creation as part of efforts to realise the Government’s strategy on vocational training for the 2011-2020 period.

Inspections of enterprises that supply guest workers abroad should be stepped up while issues of public concern such as human trafficking, child sexual abuse and creation jobs for drug addicts after rehabilitation must be addressed as soon as possible, he said.

MoLISA suggested working out regional master plans on socio-economic development, including economic sectors, hi-tech zones, and vocational training centres.

Last year, the region generated jobs for over 160,000 workers and improved income for more than 15,000. At the end of 2013, its rate of poor households was reduced to 21.5 percent, or over 454,000 households.-VNA