Programme reduces poverty in ethnic minority areas

Launched by the Government in 1998, the programme aims to lift extremely disadvantaged communes in remote and mountainous regions out of poverty and underdevelopment.

Photo for illustration

On October 29, the national workshop on sharing experiences in promoting the role of grassroots and community levels in the construction, operation and maintenance (O&M) of small-scale infrastructures in Program 135 on Socio-economic Development in the Most Disadvantaged Communes according to the specific investment mechanism, was organized under the co-host of the Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA) and the Centre for Research on Initiatives of Community Development (RIC).

The workshop recognized the necessity and value of O&M when it helps to 'revive' many projects with a large investment, and improve the capacity of local authorities and people; save resources; create effective, quality and sustainable works.

Share some results of the project "Promoting models of maintenance and building community-based infrastructure in Program 135 in Hoa Binh and Tra Vinh provinces" for the period 2013-2020, RIC Director Le Van Hai, with support from Irish Aid and CEMA, the project has been implemented in 13 communes of 6 districts of Hoa Binh and Tra Vinh provinces, focusing on capacity building for local people and officials; performing maintenance and construction of small-scale community-based infrastructure; institutionalization and advocacy; share and replicate the model.

The implementation results showed that 77 villages/hamlets benefited with 267 works maintained and built new roads, canals; clean water systems, self-flowing canals; community houses. As many as 865 people and 270 local officials are the core of the project. More than 50,000 local people benefited from the works. The project has shared and replicated the model to other provinces such as Quang Tri with two projects and Ha Giang with four projects) ...

The workshop also highly appreciated the contribution of the Specific Investment Mechanism stipulated in Decree 161/2016/ND-CP in creating a favorable legal basis for the commune and community levels to directly participate in and have the ability to implement construction, O&M of small-scale infrastructures.

In particular, the mechanism has created a double impact when communities can both access state resources, improve capacity and benefit from the project. As Decree 161 will expire soon, the workshop agreed that to effectively implement the National Target Programs in the period 2021-2025, especially the National Target Program for the socio-economic development of ethnic minority and mountainous communities, it is necessary to continue to develop a specific mechanism with more complete content than the Decree 161 towards promoting decentralization and empowerment substantially to the commune and community levels.

The activity belongs to the project “Ethnic minorities Empowerment through Piloting and Scaling up Communities-Based O&M and Construction of Commune infrastructure in Programme 135", funded by the Irish Aid.

 Vietnam has 54 ethnic groups, with the Kinh being the majority and the other groups making up 14% of the national population of 90 million people.

The Government’s Program 135, launched in 1999 under the Prime Minister’s Decision 135/1998/QD-TTg on July 31, 1998, aims to improve living conditions for rural residents with a particular focus on ethnic minority communities.


Pham Thu