Bac Lieu prioritizes comprehensive development of ethnic minority areas

WVR - Returning to Bac Lieu, going through every street and alley, new colors spread out all the way to the villages, where many Khmer people live, glowing brightly.
Bà con Khmer ấp Sóc Đồn (xã Hưng Hội, huyện Vĩnh Lợi) chung tay xây dựng tuyến đường xanh – sạch – đẹp, góp phần diện mạo phum sóc ngày càng khởi sắc. (Ảnh: Phương Nghi)

Khmer people in Soc Don hamlet, Hung Hoi commune, Vinh Loi district join hands to build a green - clean - beautiful road, contributing to the villages’ increasingly prosperous appearance. (Photo: Phuong Nghi)

After 3 years of implementing, the National Target Program for socio-economic development in ethnic minority and mountainous areas for the 2021-2030 period, phase I from 2021-2025 (National Target Program 1719) has met the people’s aspirations, gradually providing practical benefit and contributing to changing the face of the ethnic minority and mountainous areas.

Ethnic minority people’s lives transform gradually

Used to be the commune’s poor hamlets but now Cu Lao, Cai Gia, Soc Don, and Nuoc Man hamlets have been given a new look. From the commune center leading to the hamlets, the spaciousness coming from the Khmer’s houses, schools, and pagodas makes the villages more prosperous.

Cai Gia, a hamlet where over 80% of Khmer people live, is a reflection of both the natural beauty and the people striving to create new model rural hamlets. In particular, through difficult times, Mr. Danh Sua, a Khmer farmer who embodies the spirit of hard work and aspiration to become rich, has improved his family life thanks to their annual income of more than 100 million VND per year.

He said that apart from being delighted since the family economy is gradually stabilizing, the people here are also excited that roads have been invested in spacious construction and the market system has also been repaired and upgraded. Currently, thanks to all levels and sectors’ attention and support, most Khmer people have clearly changed in their awareness and willingness to do business to escape poverty.

Mr. Le Minh Thanh, Head of the Ethnicity & Religion Department of Vinh Loi district shared: “In recent years, the lives of Khmer people in the district have been developed in all aspects. Various households have proactively applied new models to production, providing stable income. Therefore, the proportion of poor households has gradually decreased, and the number of well-off ones has increased. Since then, the will to strive for self-improvement without expecting or relying on the State’s preferential policies has been aroused, leading to more and more Khmer families having overcome difficulties and escaped poverty, actively contributing to movements, especially in building new rural areas in the locality”.

Dau Sau Tay, Loc Ninh commune, Hong Dan district is the hamlet with the most Khmer people in Bac Lieu province (over 95%). Mr. Danh Nuol, a Khmer farmer in Dau Sau Tay hamlet said that his family economy before faced many difficulties but since the Commune Veterans Association created favorable conditions to access preferential policy capital sources and being involved in training classes and technical support, he has learned how to use capital appropriately in production and keep up with technical advances. Thanks to that, his life has become better and better.

Từ nguồn vốn Chương trình 1719 hỗ trợ chuyển đổi nghề đã giúp nhiều hộ đồng bào dân tộc Khmer xã Vĩnh Thịnh (huyện Hòa Bình, tỉnh Bạc Liêu) có thu nhập ổn định. (Ảnh: Phương Nghi)

Capital resources from Program 1719 to support job changes have helped many Khmer households in Vinh Thinh commune, Hoa Binh district, have stable income. (Photo: Phuong Nghi)

Prioritize comprehensive development of ethnic minority areas

In the 2021-2025 period, Bac Lieu implemented the National Program 1719 in 14 communes, wards, and towns in ethnic minority areas, with centrally allocated capital of 58.4 billion VND and the province’s counterpart capital of over 8.7 billion VND.

Mr. Luong Van Pho, Deputy Head of the the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of Bac Lieu province said: “From 2022 to 2023, the province’s non-business and counterpart capital are nearly 47 billion VND and 8 projects have been implemented, including 2 projects that cannot be disbursed due to lack of implementation area, capital allocation, and beneficiaries.

The Program 1719 has helped ethnic people overcome obstacles, gain more motivation to develop economically, and build a prosperous life. Mr. Phan Thanh Duy, Vice Chairman of the Bac Lieu People’s Committee said: “In the effective implementation process of the Program, positive impacts will be made on the lives of ethnic minorities. The province invests with focus and sustainability, concentrating on the most difficult communes and hamlets, and addressing the most urgent problems. Bac Lieu also ensures directness and democracy, promotes ownership and active participation of the community and people, and strengthens the spirit of striving for improvement of ethnic minorities”.

Through the synchronous and effective implementation of ethnic programs and policies at all levels and sectors, the appearance of ethnic minority areas has increasingly advanced and people’s material and spiritual lives are strengthened, which is the basis for the province to continue to prioritize the implementation of socio-economic development solutions in ethnic minority areas.

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Translated by Phuong Linh