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After five years of launching, it is estimated that about 142,000 families equal to 636,538 people have benefited from the project, 18% more than the initial project design. More than 90 percent of participants feel satisfied with the projects.

More than 140,000 People Benefited from the Poverty Reduction Program Coordinated by WB and MPI
Today, the Central Highland Poverty Reduction Project officially ended. The World Bank (WB) and Ministry of Planning and Investment organized the sum-up meeting for the event. 
The development objective of the Central Highlands Poverty Reduction Project for Vietnam is to enhance living standards by improving livelihood opportunities in project communes of upland districts of the central highlands of Vietnam. 
The project has four components. The first component is village and commune infrastructure development. It has following two sub-components: (i) support the design, construction or repair of small-scale village, and commune-level infrastructure (such as simple access roads, terracing, irrigation or water supply, basic social infrastructure, etc.) through the provision of block grants; and (ii) finance sub-projects for the repair, operation, and maintenance (O and M) of communal infrastructure. 
The second component, sustainable livelihoods development will support ethnic minorities (EMs) and other households in the targeted areas to enhance their food security and nutrition, their productive capacities for more diversified income sources, and their linkages to selected agricultural markets. It has following two sub-components: (i) target chronically poor and at risk households; and (ii) aim to develop productive partnerships (PP) between farmer groups and agribusinesses (ABs) which are operating in the targeted areas for proven commercially viable agriculture or agro-forestry endeavors. 
The third component is connective infrastructure development, capacity building, and communications. It has following three sub-components: (a) finance selective intra- and inter-commune level infrastructure that will strengthen physical connectivity within and between local economic zones; (b) support training and capacity building at all project levels for all aspects of project management; and (c) support communications activities to ensure beneficiaries, project staff, key stakeholders, and the public at large are aware of the project objectives and opportunities.
After five years of launching, it is estimated that about 142,000 families equal to 636,538 people have benefited from the project, 18% more than the initial project design. More than 90 percent of participants feel satisfied with the projects. 
At the sum-up meeting today, the representatives from the project held the speeches about the project. The represenative from World Bank revealed that over the past 5 years, the project has delivered technical support and financing for essential infrastructure and livelihoods activities across 130 ethnic minority communes. 
World Bank pleased to learn that according to the recently completed impact evaluation that travel time to schools and administrative centers has been reduced, drop-out rates for primary and secondary students have fallen, agriculture activities have become more diverse and animal husbandry has increased, and per capita expenditures have increased for female-headed households and for migrant ethnic minority groups.  
The evaluation also shows an increase in the participation ofethnic minority women in local development activities andthat overall beneficiary satisfaction with the project is high.  You will hear more about these results from the evaluation teamlater this morning. 
The results of GNTN’s impact evaluationshed light on the options and opportunities in addressing poverty among some of the poorest and most isolated communities in the country.  However, while significant progress has been made through projects such as GNTN, Northern Mountains Poverty Reduction Project, P-135 and others, there are still many people who have not fully benefitted from the advances that Vietnam has achieved.  According to the latest data: 
• the poverty rate of ethnic minority households in 2016 was 23 percent—or three times the national poverty rate. 
• ethnic minorities make up 73 percent of the number of poor people nationally even though they comprise just 14 percent of the total population. Projections indicate that by 2020 approximately 84percent of Vietnam’spoor will be members of ethnic minority groups.
• poverty has a strong geographic dimension with95 percent of poor people living in rural areas, even though the rural population accounts for just 68 percent of the total population.

DIEP NGUYEN