CAO BANG (VNS) - Ending poverty among households residing in seven northern Viet Nam-China border provinces is tantamount to defending national territory, President Truong Tan Sang said yesterday.
Addressing at a meeting held in Dam Thuy Commune, Trung Khanh District, Cao Bang Province, yesterday, he said that the seven northern provinces hold a very important position in maintaining national defence and security as well as its socio-economic development.
With special care from the Party and State and efforts of local ethnic minority communities themselves, local living conditions have improved considerably over the last several years, he noted.
However, people living in border communes, particularly in new settlement areas, who have to discharge two duties at the same time -engage in production and defend the homeland - still face many difficulties that they need help surmounting, he added.
Under a programme initiated by Sang, since 2014, households in the seven border provinces have been provided with 15,000 tonnes of cement to build houses and animal sheds as well as 24,000 cows for breeding.
In addition, the border security forces have given VND1 billion (US$48,000) to local residents as part of efforts to help them rise above poverty.
President Sang also said at the meeting in Dam Thuy Commune that despite considerable progress, many difficulties and challenges lay ahead.
The population of 700,000 living in the north-western region's 168 communes is not a big one, so with support from the central government, ministries and sectors nation-wide, they can carry out effective measures to escape poverty, he said.
He also asked residents to turn the north-western region into a border of peace, friendship, stable co-operation and development.
President Sang was accompanied on this trip by Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the Steering Board for the North-Western Region, and senior officials from several central agencies. - VNS