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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    30 July 2012

Lao capital, Vientiane removes poverty from all its area


Vientiane has been able to graduate all 483 villages and nine districts from poverty, making the capital the first among the provinces that is able to remove poverty, based on the government criteria.

The initial 2012 Annual Statistics on Poverty and Development report stated that the capital has achieved complete poverty removal from its villages and districts.

Last year the official report already showed that there were no poor villages or districts in the capital.

To graduate from poverty status, a village is required to reduce the number of poor families to less than 51 per cent of the total families in the village, while a district is also required to reduce the number of poor villages to less than 51 per cent, a senior official of the National Committee for Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (NCRDPE) explained.

However, 100 families out of a total of more than 136,000 families in Vientiane are still living below the poverty line, according to the initial report received by the NCRDPE on July 9 which was submitted by Vientiane and provincial authorities.

Deputy Director General of the NCRDPE's Personnel and Administration Department Dr Soubanh Sengsoulivong stated that the initial report will be analysed further by relevant ministries and organisations before submitting a final version to the government for approval.

Northwestern Xayaboury pro vince ranks second in the number of poor families with 2,555 after first place was taken by Vientiane with only 100 poor families. Southern Champassak province is third with more than 3,000 poor families.

Northern Oudomxay province was listed as having the highest number of poor families with more than 22,000, followed by northern Huaphanh province with more than 20,000. Southern Savannakhet has more than 15,000, placing it third from the bottom.

Xayaboury also ranks second after Vientiane in the number of poor villages as it has been able to reduce them to only 18 out of a total of 445 villages, followed by southern Champassak province with 41 out of 644 in total.

Northern Huaphan province had the highest number of poor villages with more than 500 villages out of 720 still categorised as poor, followed by northern Phongsaly province, which has 353 poor villages out of 540 in total. Oudomxay province has 296 poor villages out of 474.

So far, only Vientiane and the province of Champassak have been able to remove poverty from all districts. Of the four provinces of Xayaboury, Xieng Khuang, Borikhamxay and Khammuan, each has only one poor district left.

Huaphan has eight poor districts, making the northern province the one with the highest number in this regard, followed by Oudomxay that has seven and then Phongsaly, which has five poor districts.

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