The World Bank in Vietnam and Thai Nguyen University are co-organising an international conference on sustainable development and poverty reduction for the ethnic minority groups in mountainous provinces on June 12-13.

At the event held in the northern province of Thai Nguyen, delegates agreed that over the past 20 years Vietnam has succeeded in developing its economy and reducing poverty, from one of the poorest nations with average income per capita of below 100 USD in 1986 to a middle-income country with the figure reaching 1,200 USD. In the period, about 35 million people have escaped from poverty.

In addition, Vietnam has also gained impressive achievements in education and health, with the number of children going to primary schools exceeding 90 percent and secondary schools, 70 percent.

Participants, who included representatives from several ministries, the Irish and Swiss embassies and foreign guests from Nepal, Bolivia, India, the US, Malaysia and Thailand, discussed several issues relating to Vietnam’s policies, poverty reduction results and guidance for the time ahead. The viewpoints of donors on poverty alleviation for the ethnic minority groups were also aired.

They noted that the poverty alleviation rate in Vietnam is fast but unsustainable and the gap between the rich and the poor among regions has yet to be narrowed due to many overlapping and ineffective policies.-VNA