Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has emphasised the importance of development work undertaken by ethnic groups, reiterating that the Party and State attach great importance to this and have mapped out numerous preferential policies in favour of ethnic people.

The Prime Minister made the statement at a conference of the Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs in Hanoi on January 15.

Thanks to joint efforts, work with ethnic communities has progressed positively, he said, but ethnic people are still faced with difficulties such as high poverty rates, poor access to health services and undeveloped infrastructure.

He asked the committee, agencies and officials in charge of ethnic affairs to seek way to increase investment to mountainous areas while better implementing policies and measures to improve both the material and spiritual lives of ethnic minorities.

The Government leader noted the development of a strong political system in the ethnic people-inhabited areas and the implementation of the national solidarity policy, preventing social disorder in these areas.

According to the committee’s report, a number of priority policies for ethnic minority groups were put into reality in 2013. These helped improve the lives of the communities.

In 2014, the committee will review existing policies and propose amendments to build a fresh policy system on sustainable poverty reduction in the 2016-2020 period and resolve emerging and complicated issues relating to ethnic work.-VNA