The Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh has provided loans of more than 46 billion dong ($2 million) to ethnic Khmer people for growing vegetables and raising cattle since 2016.

It enabled 2,559 households, especially poor ones, to escape poverty.

Thach Thi Dung of Cau Ke district’s Hoa Tan commune is among those who climbed out of poverty thanks to a loan of eight million dong from the government-owned Vietnam Bank for Social Policies.

She used the money to improve the soil in her land and switch to vegetable cultivation from rice. Now, three years later, she earns an income of between 3.5 and four million dong per month.

Thach Vo’s family in Duyen Hai district received a loan and began to grow vegetables, and now earns 80-100 million dong per year.

The province spent another 18 billion dong on works to improve the socio-economic status of the Khmer in Tra Cu district.

Kim Ngoc Suong, head of the district People’s Committee’s division for ethnic minority people’s affairs, said 14.5 billion dong was spent to upgrade 18 streets, the drainage system and a cultural house.

The rest of the money was used to lend to disadvantaged Khmer households for cultivating vegetables and breeding cattle, she said.

The population of the district is 62 per cent Khmer compared to 31.5 in the province.

Since 2018 alone, the number of poor Khmer households in the province has reduced by 10,000.

The province has been focusing on providing electricity, education and healthcare to its Khmer population.

It has eight ethnic minority boarding schools and one vocational training school.

The Khmer language is taught at 134 out of the province’s 143 pagodas.

The province has a Khmer population of 320,000.