The ceremony to announce Ireland's support for Vietnam's ethnic minority area development on December 20 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Irish Government is going to support Vietnam’s efforts to develop ethnic minority areas with 12.6 million EUR (14.9 million USD) between 2017 and 2020.

The sponsorship was announced at a ceremony held by the Vietnamese Government’s Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs and the Irish Embassy in Hanoi on December 20.

Accordingly, Ireland will provide 12 million EUR for Vietnam to carry out the programme on socio-economic development in ethnic minority and mountainous communes with particular disadvantages (Programme 135). The funding aims to assist socio-economic infrastructure improvement and access to services in ethnic minority areas in the provinces of Ha Giang, Hoa Binh, Quang Tri, Kon Tum, and Tra Vinh.

The remaining 600,000 EUR will fund a technical assistance project on improving the effectiveness of development programmes and policies targeting ethnic minority and mountainous areas.

The agreement on the sponsorship for Programme 135 was signed on November 15, 2017 by the Vietnamese Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs and the Irish Embassy on behalf of their respective governments. The Vietnamese committee and the Irish Embassy inked the letter on the funding for the technical assistance project on December 11, 2017.

Irish Ambassador to Vietnam Cáit Moran said the financing is one of the focuses of her country’s assistance for the Vietnamese Government. It also helps demonstrate Ireland’s commitment towards a poverty-free world, with a special focus on vulnerable groups.

The Irish Government is also encouraged by the outcomes brought by Vietnam’s socio-economic development over the past years, she said, expressing her hope that the two sides will together bring about changes and a better life for Vietnamese people in the time ahead.

Minister and Chairman of the Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs Do Van Chien appreciated the sponsorship and pledged that it will be used for right purposes and in an effective manner.

From 2007 and 2016, Ireland supported 60.29 million EUR for Programme 135 of Vietnam.-VNA