The Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau mobilised about VND24 trillion (US$1.1 billion) for building new-style rural areas from 2011-2015.
The locality also encouraged local people to help build infrastructure such as bridges and roads in rural areas.
Thanks to these efforts, 17 out of 82 communes in the province have been recognised as new-style rural areas.
Doan Van Binh, deputy head of the provincial steering board for the new-style rural area building programme, said the programme has given a facelift to rural areas in Ca Mau and improved local living standards.
However, he said the work has been hindered by a shortage of capital, especially in disadvantaged and coastal communes.
From 2016-2020, Ca Mau aims to convert at least half of its communes into new-style rural areas, he said.
To fulfill the target, he urged local authorities to communicate with people on the programme with special attention paid to poverty reduction, vocational training, job generation and sustainable development.
The National Target Programme on New Rural Development, launched in 2010, sets 19 criteria for new rural areas covering infrastructure, production, living standards, income and culture, among others.
A commune must meet at least 75% of all the 19 criteria in order to receive the new-style rural area status.