Financial aid has been provided for the construction of as many as 23,800 houses for poor ethnic families in the northern province of Son La since 2009, according to the provincial People's Committee.

The programme was first launched three years ago with the aim of providing assistance to ethnic minority groups including Mong, Dao, Kho Mu, La Ha, Xinh Mun, Lao, Thai, and Muong. A total of 3,200 new houses have been finished so far this year.

Around 366 billion VND (17.5 million USD) has been raised for the programme from various sources. The State budget accounts for two thirds of the total with nearly 222 billion VND (10.5 million USD). Loans from provincial bank allocations for social policies contributed 127 billion VND (6 million USD). The remaining amount has been provided by enterprises and communities.

The provincial People's Committee have said that the aid is equivalent to between 7.2 million VND (342 USD) and 8.4 million VND (400 USD) per household.

They added that the province is attempting to complete work on another 2,800 homes before the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday next February.-VNA