|An aerial view of the central area of a mountain commune in Bac Yen district. (Photo: Hang Cho La/Bac Yen Sports and Culture Center)
For many years, Hang A Anh’s family of Bac Yen district had wanted a solid house. Last year, thanks to financial assistance of 1,700 USD from the State and the help of other villagers, his new house of 70 square meters was completed.
A Anh recalled his family was an extremely challenged household and lived in a dilapidated house and they were seriously afraid of windy and rainy days.
“We are now very happy to have been financed by the commune and district administration to build a solid house. We feel secure now and will do our utmost to escape poverty,” said A Anh.
|At a ceremony to hand over a new house to a poor household in Suoi Hao hamlet in Hong Ngai commune, Bac Yen district. (Photo: Hang Cho La/Bac Yen Sports and Culture Center)
Bac Yen is one of six districts that have completed the removal of thatched houses in line with the Government project to mobilize resources to support poor households with housing difficulties in Son La province between 2021 and 2025.
Under the program, 843,000 USD has been raised to build houses for more than 310 disadvantaged households, mainly Mong ethnic people.
Dang Ngoc Hau, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said the results were attributed to contributions from the provincial to the grassroots levels.
“Eliminating thatched huts for poor households is one of major policies of the State and the province and is a humane program. Only by settling down, can people concentrate on working. So thatched house removal is the first step to help these households escape poverty permanently,” said Hau.
Bac Yen district authorities have also focused on improving the livelihood of the poor.
Lu Van Chau, a resident in the Muong Khoa commune for example, used to lack capital and production land. His family’s economy has gradually stabilized after getting preferential loans from the Bank for Social Policies to invest in production 5 years ago.
Chau told VOV that since 2018, his family has received a loan of more than 1,200 USD to raise cows.
“Now we have 6 or 7 cows and hope to borrow more capital to further increase the herd,” said Chau.
Chau’s family is one of many poor and near-poor households in Bac Yen to have escaped poverty thanks to the loans.
The current total outstanding loan balance provided by the Bank for Social Policies, including the loans for poor households, stands at nearly 930,000 USD. The average annual rate of families escaping poverty has reached 70%.
Le Van Thang, Director of Bac Yen District Social Policy Bank, said over the past 9 months, the Bank had disbursed 3.2 million USD of loans for nearly 1,600 households.
According to Thang, the overdue debt rate is low and many households have escaped poverty.
“Credit capital policy plays an important role in the criteria for building new-style rural areas. The source of capital has helped many households in Bac Yen district escape poverty,” said Thang, adding, “Their style of living has permanently changed. The households have used the capital to build clean water sources and environmental sanitation works and has created stable jobs.”
|Farmers in Bac Yen district promote cattle-breeding to increase income. (Photo: Van Ngoc/trangtraiviet.danviet.vn)
Although it was removed from the list of poor districts last year, Bac Yen, a mountain district of Son La with 95% ethnic minorities, still has 13 of 16 communes with severe difficulties.
The multidimensional poverty rate remains high at 32%, requiring local Governments and people to accelerate poverty reduction in the coming time, according to Mui Thi Hien, Secretary of the District Party Committee.
“We will promptly implement national target programs on poverty reduction mandated by a National Assembly resolution on development of ethnic minority regions, poverty reduction, and new-style rural housing,” said Hien.
She insisted that they’ll continue dispersing information to raise the awareness of people and the community about social security and support for the poor so that no one is left behind.
Bac Yen used to be one of the poorest mountain districts in Vietnam but now the living conditions of the locals are gradually changing. This result demonstrates the advantages of poverty reduction policies and highlights the joint efforts of the local government and ethnic people in Son La province to escape poverty.