Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, November 16, 2007

Disparity between rich and poor growing in Viet Nam

The rapid economic growth in Viet Nam has left many rural communities behind, Agence France-Presse reported on November 7.

In Na Lia, a rice faming hamlet of approximately 400 members of the Tay ethnic minority, residents do not have electricity or telephones, and the village economy is largely cashless. Moreover, Na Lia has not witnessed the growth seen in cities such as Hanoi.

“There’s a vast disparity between Vietnam’s rural and urban areas,” said Hassan Ahmad, whose Singapore-based group Lien Aid has launched an anti-poverty project here, funded by the city-state’s Ian Ferguson Foundation.

According to the World Bank, “the poverty rate among ethnic minorities and communities in mountainous areas is much higher compared to the national average.” In 2004, 60 percent of the people in these communities lived in poverty.

Lien Aid has been working in Na Lia, and has implemented initiatives such as new sand-filtered water-tanks, and the construction of a new school and library. Agricultural experts have also introduced soy beans and high-yield rice, doubling outputs in the process.

“People from other villages have come to take a look,” Ahmad said. “We believe this project can be replicated. The real needs in Vietnam are in places like this, beyond the mountains and at the ends of inaccessible roads.”

For the full story, click here.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home