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  Poverty Alleviation

Remote villages get $31.8m helping hand

A poverty reduction project has helped people in A Roang commune, A Luoi District get access to clean water

Two central provinces have received aid to combat poverty among ethnic minorities living in remote mountainous areas from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

The aid has been used to fund poverty reduction projects in 30 mountainous communes in the Nam Dong and A Luoi districts of Thua Thien-Hue Province.

The project is part of a poverty reduction programme in central Viet Nam signed between the Government and the ADB.

The project has a total capital of US$15.37 million, with $8.34 million coming from the ADB and $3.62 million from the DFID. The Vietnamese Government and people have contributed $3.41 million in corresponding capital.

The project aims at helping poor ethnic minorities in the targeted communes develop steady production and gradually improve their quality of life.

To this end, the project–which will be implemented in five years–will help local people develop agro-forestry, aquaculture, small industry and handicrafts. It will also pour money into building infrastructure facilities such as roads, schools and irrigation systems.

Speaking at a meeting to launch the project on Monday, deputy chairman of Thua Thien- Hue Provincial People’s Committee, Nguyen Ngoc Thien, and project co-ordinators pledged to implement the project effectively.

Apart from the aid from ADB and DFID, Thua Thien-Hue Province has been able to mobilise more than $28 million to combat hunger and poverty in recent years.

As many as 142 projects have been undertaken under Poverty Alleviation Programme 135, including traffic projects, power and water facilities, irrigation systems, and health clinics.

Emphasis has also been placed on training poor people in breeding animals and planting with the help of state-of-the-art technologies.

The province has also poured money from other poverty alleviation funds into planting orchards in eight districts, improving cultivated soil, reclaiming land for vegetable cultivation, and shifting inefficient rice growing fields into aquaculture.

In an attempt to increase the efficiency of poverty reduction projects at grassroots level, it has also provided training to cadres in different villages and communes.

With these efforts, the number of poor households in the province has been reduced to 11.5 per cent from more than 17 per cent in 2001.

Elsewhere in Quang Tri central Province, a similar anti-poverty project funded by ADB and DFID has also been established.

As many as 35 poor communes in the two mountainous districts of Huong Hoa and Dakrong will benefit from the project, which has a total capital of $16.44 million.

Of which, ADB provides $8.66 million, DFID with $4.3 million, and the Vietnamese Government and people $3.48 million.

The project shares the aims and plans of the anti-poverty project in Thua Thien-Hue Province.

VNS - (20/08/2004)

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