Ireland provides EUR12.6 million to support development of Vietnam’s ethnic minority areas

08:36 | 21/12/2017 Society

The Vietnam’s Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA) and the Embassy of Ireland on December 20 announced the financing agreement worth EUR12.6 million for two projects sponsored by the European country to support the development of Vietnam’s ethnic minority areas.

Irish Ambassador to Vietnam Cáit Moran and Vietnamese Minister cum Head of the Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs Do Van Chien announce the cooperation program - Credit:

Accordingly, the funding will support the “Socio-economic development programme for extremely difficult communes in ethnic minority and mountainous areas” (Program 135) and the technical assistance project on "Enhancing the effectiveness of development programs and policies and initiatives for poverty reduction in ethnic minority and mountainous areas" for the 2017-2020 period.

During that period, Ireland will provide a financial support of EUR12 million for Vietnam to implement Program 135 in order to support the improvement of socio-economic infrastructure and access to services for ethnic minority communities in five provinces Ha Giang, Hoa Binh, Quang Tri, Kon Tum and Tra Vinh.

Meanwhile, EUR600,000 will be allocated for the technical assistance project to improve the effectiveness of programmes and policies towards the development of ethnic minority population.

The funding agreement for Program 135 was signed on November 15 between the CEMA on behalf of the Government of Vietnam and the Irish Embassy on behalf of the Government of Ireland. A sponsor for the latter was reached between the two agencies later on December 11.

Ambassador Cáit Moran affirmed that the funding is one of the most important activities of Ireland's support to Vietnam to further promote the long-term partnership between the two sides, while contributing to Ireland's global commitment to a world without poverty, with particular focus on vulnerable groups.

The Irish Government is also being encouraged by the positive results that have come from the socio-economic development of Vietnam over the past few years and is expecting the two sides to work together in order to bring about changes and better living standards for Vietnamese people in the coming time, the diplomat stated.

On behalf of the beneficiaries, Minister Do Van Chien expressed his sincere thanks to the Government and people of Ireland, affirming that this is a valuable source of financial assistance, bearing not only material help, but also the sentiments from the Irish Government and people towards difficult areas in Vietnam.

The CEMA head also pledged to use the funds for noble purposes with the highest effectiveness to bring about benefits to the poor in the most difficult areas of the five provinces. During the implementation, the Vietnamese side will strictly apply the terms as committed and create the best conditions for the Irish side and the Vietnamese functional agencies to inspect and supervise the use of the funds.

In addition to support to Program 135 and the CEMA, Ireland also provides funding for a number of Vietnamese and international NGOs to implement pilot projects and replicate community empowerment models, while sharing lessons learned in the areas of food security, nutrition, gender equality and climate change adaptation.

The support strategy of the Irish Embassy has a primary priority on ethnic minority areas. During the 2011-2016 period, the Irish Government supported the extremely difficult communes under the Programme 135 with a total aid of EUR30.3 million, focusing on construction of 445 small-scale infrastructure facilities in 434 communes with special difficulties in 21 provinces under the program.

Theo NDO