Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
 
Dong Nai (VNA) – The Vietnam Bank for Social Policies branch in the southern province of Dong Nai has offered more than 970 billion VND (43.11 million USD) in loans to nearly 38,000 poor and near-poor households since 2015, helping thousands escape poverty and earn higher incomes. 

Huynh Cong Nam, Director of the branch, said many households have received loans at monthly interest of 0.55 percent for production and trade.  

To ensure that loans are used effectively, the branch worked with authorities to inspect each household, he said, adding that more than 98 percent of borrowers repaid their loans on schedule.

According to the provincial Steering Committee on Poverty Reduction, Dong Nai changed the criteria for poor households in 2015. Accordingly, each household earning below 1 million VND per month per person in rural areas or below 1.2 million VND per month per person in urban areas is considered poor.

Near-poor households in rural areas have monthly average income of 1 – 1.3 million VND per person while those in urban areas have 1.2 – 1.6 million VND per person.

With such criteria, Dong Nai recorded about 20,500 poor households, or 2.89 percent of the total and roughly 8,000 near-poor households, accounting for 1.12 percent of the total, in 2015.

Over the last three years, Dong Nai has employed several poverty reduction programmes, with preferential credit policies for poor households the most effective.

Since 2015, nearly 14,000 local households have escaped poverty. The rate of poor households is now 0.9 percent while the number of near-poor households has fallen from 1.12 percent to 0.59 percent.-VNA