|An ethnic woman raise chicken as part of a poverty reduction programme in Ho Dap Commune, Luc Ngan District in the northern province of Bac Giang. — Photo baobacgiang.gov.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam has made remarkable progress in poverty reduction, but the country still faces several challenges, experts said at a conference in Ha Noi today.
The conference was on promoting investment and assistance for socio-economic development in ethnic minority and mountainous areas.
Speaking at the conference, Ambassador of Ireland Cait Moran said Viet Nam had gone more than half-way in achieving poverty reduction. The poverty rate in the country had dropped from 58 per cent in 1990 to 14.5 per cent last year.
However, disadvantaged and vulnerable people, particularly ethnic minority communities living in rural and mountainous areas, still face difficulties in accessing good nutrition, education, clean water and sanitation.
The issue of gender inequality remained an obstacle, Moran said.
These deprivations and inequalities had a negative impact on the well-being of disadvantaged communities and on the country's prospects as a whole, he said.
Nguyen Van Anh, an expert from the Ethnic Minorities Working Group under the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organisations, said in order to ensure sustainable poverty reduction of ethnic minorities, the authorities at different levels should promote proactive participation of the community, poor communities and poor ethnic minority households in the entire process of designing and implementing poverty reduction activities.
"It must consider poor communities and poor ethnic minority households as development partners rather than as passive recipients," she said.
The criteria of participation, decision-making and benefits for women should be mentioned in monitoring and evaluation systems of all poverty reduction programmes and activities.
"Poverty reduction activities need to fit in the conditions, features, traditions and culture of each region and ethnic group, to narrow the gap in living standards between rural and urban areas and between regions, communities and population groups," she said.
A market-oriented approach should be applied more creatively to promote the development of products based on the strengths, potential and competitiveness of ethnic minorities in markets, especially in the context of integration, she said. — VNS