A delegation of senior Vietnamese and World Bank (WB) officials had a working session with the People’s Committee of northern mountainous Yen Bai province on August 16 to review its campaign of building newly-styled rural areas and WB-funded poverty reduction projects.

The delegation was led by Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat and WB Country Director in Vietnam Victoria Kwakwa.

They said in the past two years, the building of new rural areas was behind schedule with limited quality and a lack of foresight. A majority of communes have met criteria in terms of political system, social security and order, health care and education while others in infrastructure and economics have yet to be met.

It is attributable to low investment resources and weak economic performance as Yen Bai is a poor mountainous province.

They suggested the province clear hurdles in building new rural areas sustainably, set a viable roadmap with concrete goals, open training courses for relevant officials and raise public awareness of the campaign.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Pham Duy Cuong proposed that the WB provide additional funding for the second phase of the poverty reduction project and extend its duration until 2017 to benefit more locals.

Over the past time, the WB has funded projects to help Yen Bai install 542km of power transmission linebuild bearly 26km of roads, open 50 class rooms, put into use 48 school toilets and establish 39 HIV/AIDS control clubs.

The second-stage poverty reduction project has offered locals access to livelihoods via establishing 499 Alliance Common Interest Groups (CIG) working in cultivation and animal husbandary.

In the drive to build new rural areas, all communes have completed the planning and 29 communes registered to meet all 19 criteria by 2015. However, over 60 percent of the communes have fulfilled only five criteria at most, and only one managed to meets 17 out of 19 criteria which is Tuy Loc commune in Yen Bai town.-VNA