HCMC accelerates poverty alleviation

Within half a month recently, three more districts in Ho Chi Minh City were recognized as districts without under poor households whose income reaches only VND16 million (US$741) a person per year, taking the total to eight districts.

Activists prepare food for the poor in Ward 8, District 8, HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

It is expected that six more districts will be deleted from the list of poor households districts by the end of this year and accomplish the poverty alleviation program for the phase 2014-2015.

The program’s purpose is to better residents’ life and raise the number of well-to-do families, said deputy chairwoman of District 6 People’s Committee Le Thi Thanh Thao.

Besides District 6, Districts 1, 3, 5, 10, 11, Binh Tan and Tan Binh have got their targets to have no households with the above income level.

Notably, the city has five wards including Thao Dien in District 2 and four others in District 5, where a person earns more than 21 million (US$973) a year.

Deputy Director of the city Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Van Xe said that the city’s poverty mitigation program had entered its sprint phase.

In the first phase of the program, HCMC had 83,000 poor households accounting for 4.2 percent of its total households.

Of these, over 53,300 have overcome poverty line so far. Twenty four percent of them were loaned to do business, 19 percent were employed and nearly 42 percent managed themselves to improve their earnings.

Workers produce canned custard apple for exports at Tan Thong Hoi Ward, Cu Chi District, HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

According to Mr. Xe, HCMC has focused all possible resources and diversified measures to assist the poor and create conditions for them to access social welfare policies.

Total preferential loans for the poor and those near the poverty line have hit VND2,835 billion (US$131.32 million) since the beginning of the phase. Local authorities have provided 2,600 poor laborers with short term vocational training and nearly 11,200 people with jobs.

VND11.5 billion (US$532,680) was also spent from the city budget to reduce or exempt tuition for over 18,800 students from poor families.

As of April, the number of poor households in HCMC has dropped to 30,000 occupying 1.4 percent. The program is expected to conclude this yearend when an addition of 15,000 will exceed the poverty line and the ratio of poor households will fall below one percent.

By Manh Hoa – Translated by Hai Mien

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