| Khmer people in Hau Giang province perform a ritual to welcome their traditional Chol Chnam Thmay festival. (Photo: VNA)
The article cited presentations at the seminar "Solutions for sustainable socio-economic development for ethnic groups in the Mekong Delta" that took place in Can Tho city in mid-May, saying that the Mekong Delta has a population of 17.3 million people. Of which, there are more than 1.3 million ethnic minority people, accounting for nearly 7.6% of the region’s population, with the Khmer people make up the largest number with over 1.1 million.
According to the article, ethnic minority groups in Vietnam in general and the Khmer people in particular have their own cultural identity, traditional religion, customs and script and language, contributing to the creation of unity in diversity of Vietnamese culture.
Along with investing in building infrastructure systems in ethnic-inhabited areas through many priority programmes and projects over the years, the Party and Government of Vietnam have paid attention to creating favourable conditions for the Khmer people to maintain their religious practice and traditional festivals. The region boasts 446 Khmer Theravada Buddhist temples, the article wrote.
In addition to pouring capital into economic development and improving the lives of the Khmer ethnic people, due attention has also been paid to policies on education, training, and fostering human resources for the Khmer ethnic community, it said.
The Mekong Delta region currently has 34 boarding schools for ethnic minorities with more than 11,600 students, mainly children of Khmer people.
Regarding sustainable livelihoods for ethnic minorities in the Mekong Delta in general, and the Khmer community in Vietnam in particular, the Party and State of Vietnam have identified views, goals and solutions for the development of ethnic minority areas by 2030, with a vision to 2045, which underlining the need to generate sustainable livelihoods on the basis of preserving and promoting the traditional cultural identity of the nation, the article wrote.
Relevant agencies and departments of Vietnam at all levels have been focusing on carrying out three national target programmes, including the national target programme on socio-economic development in ethnic minority and mountainous areas for the 2021-2030 period, which has been approved by the Government of Vietnam with a total investment of over 137.66 trillion VND (5.86 billion USD), it said.
For localities in the Mekong Delta, the implementation of this programme is considered as fundamental solutions for socio-economic development, creating sustainable livelihoods associated with preserving and promoting cultural traditions in ethnic minority-inhabited areas in general and the Khmer ethnic minority group in particular, according to the article./.