|A professor from Thai Nguyen University introduces international delegations advanced technology in the agricultural sector. — Photo baothainguyen
THAI NGUYEN (VNS) — A three-day conference to discuss sustainable development in the remote northern mountainous region of Viet Nam opened in Thai Nguyen Province yesterday.
"Sustainable Development and Ethnic Minority Poverty Reduction in Mountainous Regions," organised by Thai Nguyen University and the World Bank, is discussing opportunities for sustainable poverty reduction in the region drawing from lessons of successful experiences in Viet Nam and elsewhere.
Participants include Government officials from the central and provincial levels, researchers, business people, development partners, and practitioners including from other countries.
Viet Nam's record on economic growth and poverty reduction over the last two decades has been remarkable, with the poverty headcount falling from 58 percent in the early 1990s to 14.5 percent by 2008, and to an estimated 10 percent in 2010. Ethnic minorities constitute the bulk of the absolute poor in Viet Nam.
Hence, while ethnic minority poverty was only emerging as a concern in the late 1990s, it is becoming a central focus in the poverty dialogue today.
The northern mountains, with high levels of poverty and low social development indicators — particularly in its ethnic minority communities — are therefore at the center of these discussions.
Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank's country director for Viet Nam, said: "While ethnic minorities represent less than 15 per cent of Viet Nam's population, they make up almost 50 per cent of Viet Nam's poor.
"Achieving sustainable reduction in poverty in these communities will require a holistic approach with action across several challenges such as livelihoods and market linkages; natural resource management; and education and health in a more synergistic way."
The conference will discuss current policies and programmes targeting ethnic minorities in the region and explore alternative approaches that can better tailor these programmes to achieve greater impact in fighting poverty. — VNS