The Government Committee for Ethnic Minorities Affairs will design more measures to support ethnic minority groups and rapidly reduce development gap among regions and ethnic groups, pledged Minister-Chairman of the committee Giang Seo Phu.

He noted the high poverty rate among ethnic minority groups, which make up only 14.3 percent of the national population but account for over 47 percent of the total number of households living under the poverty line, despite great improvements seen over recent years.

Phu explained that although the Party and State have paid great attention to designing support policies for ethnic minority groups, the total investment remains limited.

For example, allocated investment for Programme 135 on boosting socio-economic development in extremely difficult, ethnic minority and mountainous regions has reached only 64 percent of the total plan, he noted, adding that in 2015, the programme has received only 6 trillion VND (282 million USD), just half of the approved amount of 12 trillion VND (558 million USD).

Regarding measures to mobilise resources for socio-economic development among ethnic minority groups, Phu said the policies will focus on increasing loans and reducing non-refundable aids.

A programme will be designed to encourage lending to people from ethnic minority groups, creating favourable conditions for them to boost production and improve income, he said.

Meanwhile, the committee will mobilise all possible resources for the work, including contributions from organisations and enterprises as well as donation from individuals and international organisations.

Phu revealed that the Government has recently approved an investment of up to 6 trillion VND (282 million USD) for the implementation of support policies for ethnic minority groups, raising the total capital allocation for the work this year to about 10 trillion VND (467 million USD).

The Minister-Chairman also expressed hope that ministries and localities will promptly realise the policies and simplify administrative procedures, thus making it easier for ethnic minority people to access the capital.-VNA