To 2010, Ben Tre's poverty rate below 10%, decline by 3%-4% annually

Ben Tre's People's Committee has published its plan for poverty reduction in the period 2007 to 2010, an effort to implement the Decision No 20/2007/QD-TTg on poverty reduction targets signed on February 5, 2007, by the Government Prime Minister.

According to statistics, Ben Tre's total poverty number in 2007 was counted at 57,257 households, or 17.74% over the total number of households. The province has set strong target that its poverty rate would be downed to below 10% by 2010. For specifics, the annual decline rate is planned by 3 to 4 percent, and the repercussion rate would be below 1% over poverty-eradicated households.

By the end of 2008, the livelihood of poor post-war vet households would at least be equal to the mean level of their community.

Measures to achieve those targets are focused as followings:

1. Facilitate poverty-hit households to develop their own business by lending them working capital for use in production; organizing training sesions of agricultural and fishery promotion activities and conversion of plants and animals to highly economically efficient ones; developing basic infrastructures for the 4 sea-front communes, which are in extreme hardship, including An Thuan, An Nhon, An Qui (Thanh Phu District), and Thua Duc (Binh Dai District); opening more job training classes for poor working people. Among these, trainees in State-sponsored courses need to be better assisted with training fees, staying and living expenses,  and job introduction in post-training stage. Labours from poor households would be exempted from job finding fees.

Another work that we need to do in pushing back poverty in the province is to carry on the IFAD-sponsored project which is aimed to facilitate poor people with means and courage to gain access to the market of their own products; to assist poor labours to go to work abroad, especially in low-fee countries such as Malaysia, and the Japan-sponsored IMM programme. Poor labours that are unable to attend a job training course at their own cost (due to illiteracy) would be provided with a job in local workshops such as handicraft units based in the commune and village. To do so effectively, more grassroot industries need to be fermented right in the local area. Also, job training subsidies should continue to be provided to those who are just next to the poor. The target is to provide jobs to poor and near poor households so that each has at least one labour earning a salary of VND1 million a month. Or they may be provided with help to go working abroad. The poor may also be encouraged to transform their livelihood to services and small household trading.

Several concrete steps that can be done right now are to creat a job exchange floor at the province's Employment Center, construct a web site to find jobs and to introduce new workers to factocries and businesses that demand, step up job training for local youth. Successful and effective business and production models need to be projected in order to direct households into better business doing, avoiding risks of capital losses or misusing of capital.

2. The poor people would be given more chances to gain access to social services such as supports in health care, education, housing, clean water using, and legal assistance.

3. Poverty eradication personnel of all levels need to be upgraded or retrained.

Through the above measures, the provincial People's Committee demands that sectors and levels of authorities in the province consider poverty alleviation one of the core duties in their strategic agenda for socio-economic development. The management and implementation works have been assigned to every level of authorities and sectors, from the provincial level (departments and services) to district and to the lowest level of communes, wards, and towns. Accordingly, each has to build their own plan and must coordinate with others in carrying out their plans to strive toward the overall goals.

Translated by Tuyet Anh

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