Poverty relapse is high in ethnic minority and mountainous areas, with the rate as high as one third in particularly underprivileged communes, according to Vice Chairman of the National Assembly (NA)’s Ethnic Council Danh Ut.

He pointed out the fact at an annual forum on development of ethnic minority groups which was jointly organised by the NA Ethnic Council, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Vietnam and the Embassy of Ireland in Hanoi on May 19.

Ut attributed the situation to the growing development gap between areas inhabited by ethnic minority groups and other parts of Vietnam, as well as limited access to finance and health and social services. He added that overlapping policies also hinder the effectiveness of poverty alleviation efforts.

According to Son Phuoc Hoan, Deputy Minister and Vice Chairman of the Government’s Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs, the making of poverty reduction policies for ethnic minority groups need to take into account their specific cultural features so that poverty elimination targets become more feasible.

Meanwhile, Louise Chamberlain, UNDP Country Director, said support policies should only aim at helping ethnic minority groups and individuals bring into play their internal resources.

Ethnic minority groups should not be considered as support beneficiaries but rather the main player of the development process who are capable of helping themselves as well as contributing to the national development, she stressed.

Proposals at the forum will be sent to the NA to serve as reference information for the drafting of measures to accelerate the development of ethnic communities.-VNA