More than 14 trillion VND (700 million USD) from the central budget has been injected in the development of ethnic minority-inhabited and mountainous areas over the past five years.

The figure was announced at a conference held in Hanoi on Jan. 4 to review the socio-economic development programme, called Programme 135 in short poverty reduction results of Programme 135, second phase, in communes with special difficulties and work on ethnic minority people in the 2006-2010 period and launch new tasks for 2011.

In the past five years, the programme helped build 12,646 infrastructure facilities, including roads, irrigation projects, schools, safe water projects and markets in those areas. It provided over 1.9 trillion VND (97.3 million USD) to poor and ethnic households to develop production.

The programme also provided 2.2 million households with seedlings and breeding plants and animals.

Addressing the conference, Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung praised contributions by relevant ministries, sectors and localities as well as assistance from international organisations to the implementation of the programmes in development of ethnic minority people and mountainous areas.

He affirmed that Programme 135 reflected sound policy of the Party and State, meeting aspirations of the people and receiving the people's support.
Apart from promoting the strength of national unity and the will of the whole society, the programme effectively made great changes in poverty reduction and socio-economic development in rural areas, especially those with special difficulties and ethnic minority people.

Deputy PM Hung also said that in the coming time, priorities should continuously be given to those areas with focus on infrastructure building, production, development, education and training, healthcare and culture./.