Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc lauded ethnic minority groups nationwide for their contributions to the national construction and defence over the past years, while addressing the opening of the second National Congress of Vietnamese Ethnic Minorities in Hanoi on December 4.
He described the Congress as an event of socio-political significance and a special symbol of great national unity.
The leader said Vietnam has reaped important achievements in almost all areas, yet northern mountainous, central, Mekong Delta and Central Highlands provinces where ethnic minority groups are living still meet various difficulties.
According to him, the Party and State have given priority to allocating resources to support education, health care, infrastructure and socio-economic development for ethnic and mountainous regions, accounting for 71.4 % of the expenditure for the work. The Vietnam Bank for Social Policies’ loans for the region account for 52.5 % of the the country’s total.
As a result, 99 % of communal centres and 80 % of villages have accessed to electricity, 65 % of communes have small irrigation systems, 80 % of villages build roads for vehicles, more than half of the communes own standard medical stations while all ethnic minority people and the poor have free health insurance.
Political security and social safety and order in the region have been maintained, Party building work pushed up, political system consolidated, and ethnic minorities’ trust in the Party and State strengthened, he said, adding that their material and spiritual lives have never been better than now.
The PM also pointed out shortcomings in ethnic work, such as infrastructure in ethnic minorities region failing to meet requirements and several projects yet to bring about socio-economic efficiency as expected. Those in the northwest, Central Highlands, southwest and the west of the coastal central regions saw slow progress.
The rate of poor and near-poor households remain high while the income gap is increasingly widened. Labour skills of ethnic minorities remain limited, making it hard for them to find suitable jobs.
Unorganised migration, drug trafficking, security and order in border areas remain complicated. At the same time, cultural identity of ethnic minorities is at the risk of extinction.
Affirming that ethnic minority group are an inseparable part and blood and flesh of the Vietnamese nation, he said comprehensive development of ethnic minority regions helps lay a foundation to ensure great national unity.
On the occasion, ministries and agencies from the central and grassroots levels must continue disseminating and effectively realise the Party Central Committee’s Resolution No.24-NQ/TW on ethnic work in the new situation, do their best to basically deal with urgent issues, and create livelihoods to improve local lives and follow the motto that no one is left behind.
They were also asked to realise Resolution No.88/2019/QH14 and Resolution No.120/2020/QH14 of the 14th National Assembly and Decision No.1409/QD-TTg of the Prime Minister issuing the plan to realise the legislature’s Resolution No.120 approving the National Target Programme on socio-economic development for ethnic minority and mountainous regions for the 2021-2030 period.
The leader expressed his wish that ethnic groups will offer all possible support to help their children to go to schools because education is the only way to push them to prosperity.
He hoped that nearly 1,600 outstanding delegates representing the 54 ethnic groups will lift the spirit of great national unity to a greater height.
On the occasion, the NA’s Committee for Ethnic Affairs was awarded with the Labour Order, first class, by the State President in recognition of its contributions to socialism building and national defence.