The Party and State have devised a host of exclusive policies to support ethnic groups in the Central Highlands, especially those living in poverty.

The new measures will help improve living standards while ensuring social welfare, political security and social order in the region.

Past programmes on land, house and water provisions for regional ethnic groups have allowed families to escape from poverty in a sustainable manner.

The region has so far provided more than 30,000 hectares of land to over 71,400 ethnic households which face a lack of land for production and accommodation.

Dak Lak province has invested some 222 billion VND to help build and upgrade over 15,500 houses and allocated more than 114 hectares of residential land for over 5,500 households.

The locality has reclaimed over 2,700 hectares from plantations to assist 7,700 households which are in need of production land.

At the same time, the province has purchased nearly 600 hectares of coffee and cashew plants and handed them over to nearly 1,940 ethnic households.

According to the Steering Committee for the Central Highlands, in 2012 alone, the whole region’s poverty rate has dropped to 15.59 percent and poverty rate among ethnic minorities reduced to 33.26 percent.

However, over 20,000 ethnic households across the region are still living in poverty with an array of difficulties, mostly revolving around a shortage of land.

A lack of coordination between agencies from central and grassroots level has been blamed for the situation.

The steering committee has proposed the Government continue instructing relevant ministries, branches and localities to conduct careful land planning in hamlets aligned with national plans to build new rural areas.

Local ethnic groups should be taught how to more effectively use land and houses provided by the State, the committee added.

They called for policies to be implemented attracting disadvantaged people to work in regional companies and encouraged further land reclamation from plantations to take place in order to enhance sustainable poverty reduction.

The Central Highlands covers an area of 54,700 square kilometres, encompassing the provinces of Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Lam Dong.

The region has a population of over 5,265,800 people, including 1,940,289 people from ethnic groups.-VNA