The care and protection of children and mothers in the coastal central province of Ninh Thuan has made significant progress thanks to a Provincial Child Friendly Programme funded by UNICEF and UNFPA.

The 5.3 million USD project, which is being implemented for the period 2012-2016, has five components covering education for children; children protection; children’s survival and growth; social policies and administration; and the health of mothers.

Vu Minh Tuyen, deputy director of the project’s management board, said some initial results have been achieved in devising, supervising and assessing child-friendly social-economic development plans.

Authorities at grassroots level have become more active in establishing a safe environment for children, helping reduce negligence, abuse and exploitation of children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, the disabled, the poor and ethnic minority children.

The project has to date completed 133 out of 164 planned activities, reducing the rate of malnutrition among under-five children to 18.8 percent. The rate of drop-out in three target districts has dropped to 0.3 percent.

At the same time, outdated marriage practices such as child marriage has decreased remarkably among local ethnic minority community, especially the Raglai.-VNA