World Bank-funded project to fight poverty in Central Highlands

A US$165-million project will be implemented to fight poverty in the Central Highlands provinces.

The project targets at improving locals’ lives by upgrading infrastructure, enhancing autonomy and livelihood opportunities by securing food security and nutrition, facilitating people’s access to public services, and build officials’ capacity to ensure effective implementation.

Around 540,000 people are expected to benefit from it. At least 20 percent of poor people are expected to enjoy priorities, and at least another 20 percent of needy households will enjoy access to a variety of services and utilities.

Officials from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, People’s Committee of the province of Gia Lai, and the World Bank and more than 200 others from ministries and agencies participated in a meeting in Pleiku city May 29 to launch the project in the highlands provinces of Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong as well as the central provinces of Quang Nam and Quang Ngai.

The World Bank said the Central Highlands provinces are rich in natural resources and closely connected with more developed places like Da Nang and Khanh Hoa Province.

Yet the poverty alleviation rate there is quite low compared to other areas, with nearly 74 percent of ethnic minority people living below the poverty line.

The rate of undernourished children is the highest in the country and the proportion of primary school students is lowest.

The $159 million Central Highlands Poverty Reduction Project will support government moves to address extreme poverty in the country’s Central Highlands region by financing infrastructure improvements. The scheme will also improve project management and public administration across 130 communes in 26 impoverished districts in the six provinces of Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai.

By Duc Trung, TTX - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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