The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will coordinate with the Vietnamese Ministry of Health in considering the provision of support packages for pregnant women and children in the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau.

UNIFEF Chief Representative in Vietnam Lotta Sylwander made the statement during an April 24 working session between a delegation from the Government Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA) and UNICEF, and the provincial authorities.

According to Lotta Sylwander, although Lai Chau is not among eight provinces named in UNICEF’s five-year plan on assisting ethnic minority children, her organisation will provide technical support for the province and include it in a bilingual teaching programme for H’Mong ethnic children.

UNICEF will also call on potential donors to help Lai Chau in child care, education and protection, she added.

At the session, CEMA Minister-Chairman Giang Seo Phu praised the province’s efforts in caring, educating and protecting children over the past time.

He urged Lai Chau to pay more attention to building a staff of proficient and whole-hearted cadres, teachers and doctors for children in mountainous areas. He added that the province should work hard to improve the material and spiritual lives of local children.

According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Vuong Van Thanh, the province has more than 140,000 children aged between 0 and 16, of whom more than 30 percent live in poor families and nearly 90 percent are ethnic minorities.

More than 1,000 children are kidnapped, maltreated and injured by accidents each year, he said.

On this occasion, the delegation visited and presented gifts to students in the border communes of Mu Sang and Nung Nang in Phong Tho and Tam Duong districts respectively.-VNA