Poor ethnic minority groups get support hinh anh 1Representatives of UNDP and Ha Giang province at the opening ceremony of total of 26.5km of new rural roads connecting 17 hamlets of Yên Minh district and four other hamlets of Dong Van district. (Photo courtesy of the UNDP)

Ha Giang (VNA)
- The northwest mountainous Ha Giang provincial People’s Committee and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have helped construct 26.5km of new rural roads connecting 17 hamlets of Yen Minh district and four other hamlets of Dong Van district.

The province said the rural road system will help connect rural mountainous communes of Na Khe, Lao Va Chai, Huu Vinh, Ngam La and Du Gia with the centre of Yen Minh district, and hamlets of Lung Tao and Sinh Lung communes with Dong Van district’s centre.

With funding and support from the Government of Japan, UNDP has helped more than 1,200 poor ethnic minority people whose livelihoods have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, to earn an income.

Through this support, not only do ethnic minority people have more money for their daily lives, but they have also contributed to building roads that will improve transportation between hard-to-reach areas.

The UNDP’s gender-sensitive assessment of the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam found that vulnerable households have been disproportionately impacted, especially households of ethnic people, migrant and informal workers.

Meanwhile, incomes from agriculture and tourism activities have been significantly reduced due to border closures and travel restrictions, worsening the already-challenging conditions being faced by ethnic groups living in Ha Giang province.

Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam, said: “Besides providing incomes for more than 1,200 people to cover their essential needs and begin to recover their livelihoods during the pandemic, the 19 roads constructed through this project will assist 8,000 people from ethnic minorities in mountainous areas, including women, the elderly and children, to access education, health services, markets and employment, ensuring that no one is left behind.”

Duong Anh Phuong, Vice Chairwoman of the Ha Giang Women’s Union added: “This is a very helpful package to support the very poor who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have also provided consultations and support for the women who received this assistance on how to more effectively use the money, such as buying seedlings, breeding stock, and the like.”

Phan A Chau, head of Na Ngu hamlet, Ngam La commune said: “We are very happy, and all the support from the donor, the local government, and the Women’s Union is highly appreciated. Thanks for supporting us with new roads and income for the local poor people.”

UNDP has also mobilised funding from the Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) to provide emergency support for 600 members of fabric cooperatives in the province that were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in which each member received 2.3 million VND (100 USD) and a PPE package to minimise the risk of infection./.