Ninh Thuan Works to Improve Ethnic People’s Lives

The south central coastal province of Ninh Thuan has implemented measures to improve living standards of ethnic minority citizens. Ninh Thuan is home to more than 161,000 ethnic minority people, or 23.3% of the province’s total population, mainly of the Cham and Raglai ethnic groups. The poverty rate among the province’s ethnic minority group is still high with about 11,140 poor and 5,300 near poor households, or 32.17% and 15.51%, respectively. Local authorities have launched various production models to grow sugarcane, corn and grapefruit, and raise cattle. The province has also planted industrial plants and fruit trees in mountainous localities of Bac Ai and Thuan Bac districts and develop large-scale fields for Cham people in Ninh Phuoc district. In 2017, Ninh Thuan focused on infrastructure development in specially disadvantaged and ethnic minority localities. As many as 32 constructions were built at a cost of VND18.4 billion (US$810,233) while extremely poor communes received aid of nearly VND7 billion (US$308,236) for animal husbandry. The province also provided vocational training on farming techniques for ethnic minorities, helping them improve income from agricultural activities. To date, all ethnic minority households in Ninh Thuan have access to electricity and more than 80% of the households are able to use clean water. Notably, all households in remote and disadvantaged areas have joined the health insurance scheme. The poverty rate in ethnic minority groups has fallen 2% per year while nine ethnic minority communes have been recognized as new-style rural areas. Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Van Binh said that Ninh Thuan will promote economic structure shifting and select suitable plants and cattle for mountainous and ethnic minority areas. This year, the province will continue to mobilize resources to develop infrastructure in mountainous and ethnic minority areas, as well as build irrigation canals, water supply stations and roads. It also hopes to attract more investors and create links between businesses and local people. (VOV Jan 3)