Tra Vinh Province Improves Lives of Ethnic People

Vietnam’s Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh has earmarked VND626 billion ($27 million) this year for socio-economic development activities to improve the lives of ethnic groups, mostly Khmer.

The money, mobilized from Central and local budgets and other sources, will be used for 10 projects under a national socio-economic development program for ethnic groups and mountainous areas.

It will be used to provide ethnic people with housing and farming lands, power, water, education, resettlement options, healthcare, and other basic services, and preserve their traditional cultures in combination with tourism development.

This year the province will provide housing lands to 40 ethnic households and houses to 525 others, and help 275 households switch to other livelihoods to improve their incomes.

It will also supply clean water to 38 households living in remote areas, build two water supply works, establish a herbal medicine growing area in Tra Cu district, support start-ups, and create jobs and improve incomes for 60% of ethnic people.

It will build 58 new infrastructure works for agriculture, build a new market and upgrade an existing one in Cau Ke district, and upgrade four markets in Cau Ngang district.

The markets are in areas where ethnic people predominate.

It will upgrade six ethnic boarding schools and improve the skills of their teachers and managers, and upgrade sports and cultural houses in ethnic-dominated areas.

Last year the province spent more than VND61 billion ($2.6 million) on the national program, helping 212 Khmer households switch livelihoods, starting water supply to 294 ethnic households living in remote areas, and asphalting 31km of rural roads.

Le Van Han, Chairman of the province People’s Committee, said two communes of Ngai Xuyen and Ham Giang in Tra Cu district, were removed from the list of those in “extremely difficult” circumstances last year.

Two hamlets, O Ka Da in Chau Thanh district’s Phuoc Hao commune, and Tra Cu C in Tra Cu district’s Kim Son commune, also made an exit, he said.

Khmer make up 62% of Tra Cu district’s population.

Tra Vinh province had 6,581 poor ethnic households at the start of last year for a 3.91% poverty rate. Of them, 2,218 escaped poverty last year.

The province has a population of more than one million, with Khmer people accounting for 31%. (VietnamPlus)