Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Lang Son (VNA) – The National Assembly’s Council for Ethnic Affairs, in collaboration with the UN Development Programme, held a seminar in the northern province of Lang Son on December 22 to review policies and laws relating to poverty reduction for ethnic minorities during 2011-2015.

According to the Department of Local and Territorial Economy under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, over the past 5 years, Vietnam has seen positive results in implementing ethnic affairs. The newly-promulgated policies proved effective, while several existing ones were adjusted to be more suitable for the ethnic minority groups, thus contributing to improving their living conditions.

All targets set for poverty alleviation in the ethnic-inhabited areas were reached, with the rate of poor households falling by 2-2.36 percent annually.

Meanwhile, attention was also paid to policies on education and training, and health, including the exemption or reduction of tuitions for ethnic students, and the provision of health insurance cards.

However, there remained several weaknesses during the implementation process. The ethnic-inhabited areas’ socio-economic growth rate was still slow, while their development gap with other regions nationwide was big.

Deputy head of the NA’s Council for Ethnic Affairs Danh Ut stressed the need for more measures during the 2016-2020 period to institutionalise development targets and tasks for ethnic minorities in national socio-economic development strategies and plans.

Ministries, sectors and localities should review all existing poverty reduction policies for the ethnic and mountainous regions to have necessary adjustments and supplements.

They were also asked to intensify international cooperation and attract more official development assistance from development partners and international organisations to accelerate the fulfillment of millennium development goals (MDGs) for ethnic minority groups.

They need to step up communication campaigns to raise ethnic people’s awareness of gender equality, environmental sanitation, health care, and the prevention of HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases.-VNA