|Representatives attend the signing ceremony. — VNS Photo Thu Trang|
HÀ NỘI — A programme of cooperation in support of ethnic minority development for the period 2017-20 was launched on Wednesday.
Under the cooperation agreement signed by the Government’s Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA) and the Embassy of Ireland in Việt Nam, a grant of 12 million euros (US$14.2 million) will be provided to the Programme for the Development of Extremely Difficult Communes in Ethnic Minority and Mountainous Areas (often called Programme 135).
This grant aims to improve infrastructure and help poor ethnic minority communities in five provinces, including Hà Giang, Hòa Bình, Quảng Trị, Kon Tum and Trà Vinh, increase their access to basic services.
The two parties also signed an agreement approving a grant of EUR600,000 ($710,100) for technical assistance for CEMA to enhance the effectiveness of development programmes and policies for poverty reduction in ethnic minority and mountainous areas in 2017-20.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Cáit Moran, Ambassador of Ireland to Việt Nam, said that the Embassy of Ireland’s Mission Strategy for Việt Nam and the Mekong Sub-region 2017-20 was set out at a meeting between Ireland’s Minister for Education, Richard Bruton, and Deputy Prime Minister of Việt Nam, Phạm Bình Minh, in November this year.
It embeds ethnic minority development as a key priority for Ireland’s engagement in Việt Nam, which has provided 60 million for work in this area since the start of Ireland’s development programme in Việt Nam in 2007.
To complement and strengthen support to Programme 135 and to CEMA, Ireland provides support to Vietnamese and international non-governmental organisations and to UN agencies to pilot and scale up new models in ethnic minority empowerment, and to share lessons and experience, with a strong emphasis on food and nutrition security, gender equality and climate-smart development.
Đỗ Văn Chiến, member of the Party Central Committee, Minister and Chairman of the CEMA, said that the signing ceremony was an important event in improving cooperation between the embassy and the CEMA.
He expressed his gratitude for the embassy’s support during the past years and hoped to continue to receive more help in the work, especially in poverty reduction. — VNS