Annual Policy Forum on Ethnic Minority Poverty Reduction

Hanoi, May 19, 2014. The Annual policy forum on ethnic minority poverty reduction was held by the National Assembly (NA) Ethnic Council and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Hanoi on May 19 with the participation of more than 200 representatives from the National Assembly, the Government, civil society and development partners.
Dr Phung Duc Tung, MDRI director, was invited to present our work on the Ethnic Minority Poverty Situation Analysis 2007-2012.

According to MDRI’s report using the data set from the Baseline and Endline Survey of Program 135, while ethnic minority groups achieved certain progress in poverty mitigation, their combined poverty alleviation rate was only equal to one third target and notably lower than the national average. The share of poor households in disadvantaged communes fell from 51% in 2007 to 45% in 2012, representing a year-on-year decrease of less than 2%. Poverty reduction rates also varied across different ethnic groups whereby Thai people showed increasing poverty rate, while Ba Na and Mong ethnic groups recorded the highest progress in poverty alleviation.

As absolute poverty in Vietnam has worryingly emerged as a particular phenomenon of ethnic minorities, delegates at the annual forum made the emphasis on the need to empower people and develop culturally-appropriate understandings in designing policies for ethnic minority development.

Dr Phung’s presentation brought forward an updated analysis on the poverty and living standards of the ethnic minority groups in the most difficult and remote areas, and successfully addressed factors that contribute to the success and failures of certain ethnic groups. Insights and contributions from MDRI’s work have been highly applauded by UNDP, the NA and other development agencies.

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