from the Viet Nam News Agency
Ha Noi, (VNA) - The National Programme on Hunger Elimination and Poverty Reduction in the 2006-2010 period should give priority to disadvantaged communes with high poverty rates, said Minister of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thi Hang.
The Prime Minister has approved an investment of 60-62 trillion VND in the period to create a breakthrough in poverty reduction, striving to decrease the number of poor households in the country to 15 percent by 2010 (equivalent to 23 percent under the new poverty standard). Poor households who have no land or no productive land will be provided with land or suitable jobs. It is expected that the programme will give accommodation support to around 500,000 poor households.
In the next five years, the Government will give 26 trillion VND worth of soft loans to poor households with interest rates 25-30 percent lower than the market rate.
To avoid relapses into poverty, the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) will give people preferential policies on credit, argo-forestry-fishery encouragement, healthcare, education and vocational training within the first two years of a commune's removal from poverty status.
Communes that are removed from the underprivileged commune list will receive funds of 500 million VND each to build and repair essential works.
The ministry will support vocational training centres and enterprises that receive poor employees.
The State will create opportunities for poor people to access necessary social services such as safe water and free health examinations and treatment and provide learning tools and fees for disabled and ethnic minority children.
The National Programme on Poverty Reduction in the 2001-2005 period exceeded the schedule by one year, said Minister Hang. The rate of poor households in Viet Nam stood at over 8 percent in 2004 (under the old poverty standard) while the figure was set at under 10 percent by 2005 in the resolutions of the ninth Party Congress.
Poor people have more chances to access production and living services such as credit loans, animal husbandry and cultivation techniques, infrastructure facilities, accommodation assistance and basic social services like healthcare, education, safe water, broadcasting and television programmes.
The total investment mobilised for poverty reduction programmes, including the National Poverty Reduction and Job Creation Programme (Programme 143), the Socio-economic Development Programme in underprivileged communes (Programme 135) and other international projects in the 2001-2005 period was nearly 41 trillion VND (2.6 billion USD)
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