Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
 
Vinh Long (VNA) - Many poor households in the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long have escaped poverty through central and local poverty alleviation programmes that provide soft loans to carry on business or agriculture.

Thach Tung in Tra On district’s Tan My commune for instance received a loan of 42 million VND (1,800 USD) from the Vietnam Bank for Social Policies in 2017. He used the loan to breed oxen and has managed to rise above the poverty line.

The bank’s Vinh Long province branch, since 2016, has provided loans worth a total of 1.94 trillion VND (83.2 million USD) to more than 88,000 poor households and those eligible for policy preferences like war martyrs' families.

The loans have helped them revamp their agriculture and adopt efficient farming models like breeding oxen and cows and growing green peel and pink flesh grapefruit.

Tran Hung, director of the branch, said the soft loans policies and the province’s socio-economic development programmes have contributed much to reducing poverty, creating jobs and ensuring social security. The soft loans have helped more than 20,000 poor and near-poor households escape poverty, he said.

The bank targets that all poor and near-poor households requiring and eligible for loans get them.

The province has provided training to poor households in techniques for breeding oxen and cows and in vocational skills for free.

Last year nearly 1,000 poor people received training in vocational skills at a cost of 1.5 billion VND (64,350 USD) the province raised from various sources, including from its Fund for the Poor and social security programmes, according to its Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

The Fund for the Poor raised donations of nearly 223 billion VND (9.6 million USD) in 2014 -2018 from philanthropic organisations and individuals to support the poor, according to the local Fatherland Front Committee.

The committee has instituted several models for helping the poor like building charity houses and providing rice, cows and scholarships. It built more than 8,350 charity houses in 2014-2018. 

Last year, the province issued free health insurance cards to 27,413 poor people and 38,391 near-poor people, ensuring that everyone in the two categories have the cards.

The rate of poor households in the province has fallen from 6.26 percent in 2015 to 2.63 percent, or 7,363 households, last year.

The province plans to reduce the poverty rate to 0.8 percent this year.-VNA