Vietnam aims to double ethnic minority incomes by 2030

By Minh Nga   November 20, 2019 | 05:58 pm PT
Vietnam aims to double ethnic minority incomes by 2030
Women and girls of the Mong ethnic group builds a house in Vietnam's northern province of Ha Giang, June 2016. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
Vietnam targets doubling the annual income of ethnic minority communities by 2025 and making it half the national average by 2030.

The targets are set in a 2021-2030 socio-economic development master plan for areas inhabited by ethnic minority populations that National Assembly (NA) deputies approved Monday.

The nation is currently home to 52 minority groups who make up 14 percent of its population of 96 million.

The average per capita income of ethnic minority groups, who are mostly settled in remote and mountainous areas where farming is difficult and where they are beset with natural calamities, has stayed at just 30 percent of the national average, which was $2,587 last year.

The country has set the a national per capita income target of $2,786 this year, $3,000 in 2020, $4,500 in 2025, $6,500 in 2030, and $10,000 in 2035.

The master plan also targets to reduce the number of poor ethnic minority households by 3 percent each year.

Ethnic minorities account for a disproportionate 55.3 percent of the nation's total poor households, which stayed at more than 1.3 million by last year, or 5.23 percent of the nation's total number of households.

The plan also envisages upgrading traffic infrastructure in communes and villages inhabited by ethnic minority groups, starting with covering main roads with asphalt or concrete.

It will also rebuild schools and medical centers in the communes and connect ethnic minority households with the national power grid or other available power sources.

The World Bank said in a report in May that Vietnamese ethnic minorities can escape poverty with physical and economic connectivity, market linkages and opportunities to join labor markets.

Physical connectivity, alongside reduced transportation costs, improved access to markets and other economic opportunities linked to mainstream society have proved decisive, said the report.

Greater connectivity to urban areas and industrial parks can give ethnic minority youth access to opportunities in the labor market, and allow farmers to participate in some market value chains, it said.

Connectivity to industrial clusters would also enable many ethnic minority women to commute to work. Since distance is a factor that impacts local perceptions about women taking up paid work outside their homes, it can influence how households weigh the option of allowing women to seek work away from the area where they live, it added.

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