Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh visited the Mekong Delta City of Can Tho on Apr. 5 to congratulate the ethnic Khmer people on their New Year festival, the Chol Chnam Thmay.

Speaking at the gathering, Ninh said that the Party and State’s sound leadership and policies have created the best possible conditions for the local ethnic community to improve their lives both materially and spiritually.

He noted that the relevant ministries and local authorities should continue caring and supporting the Khmer community to help them enjoy better standard of living.

Also at the gathering, the Deputy Chief of Vietnam ’s Southwest Steering Committee, Nguyen Phong Quang said that the region is home to about 1.3 million Khmer people, accounting for 8 percent of the local population. In 2011, the rate of poor households in the region fell to 10.14 percent.

The Chol Chnam Thmay festival, which falls annually in mid-April, is one of the most important festivals of the year for the Khmer people. It is usually held in a pagoda and on these days, people wish and pray for a lucky new year.-VNA