Persistent Malnutrition in Ethnic Minority Communities of Vietnam : Issues and Options for Policy and Interventions

Persistent Malnutrition in Ethnic Minority Communities of Vietnam : Issues and Options for Policy and Interventions

Mbuya, Nkosinathi V. N. Atwood, Stephen J. Huynh, Phuong Nam, The World Bank (2019)

Seventy-five percent of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities live in 45 of the country’s 63 provinces, which are located in the country’s northern mountain and central highlands regions. Vietnam’s hills and forested highlands have influenced its demographics and the extent and persistence of its inequity in poverty, health, and nutrition.
The cultural identities of the country’s various ethnic groups have been preserved because of the geographic isolation and the inaccessibility of many of the towns and communities in which they live. Language or cultural barriers, the inadequate quality of services offered to ethnic minorities, and the lack of trust that exists on both sides due to historical barriers have contributed to the inability or unwillingness of ethnic minorities to engage in government programs. For example, a 2012 World Bank poverty assessment of social protection and poverty
reduction programs in Vietnam found substantially lower coverage of social insurance programs among ethnic minority groups (14 percent) than among the Kinh/Hoa ethnic majority groups (35 percent). In 2010 fewer than two out of 10 of ethnic minorities had access to improved sanitation facilities, whereas seven out of 10 Kinh/Hoa households had access to such facilities.

According to the same World Bank assessment, poor access to these essential public services has adversely affected the health and nutrition outcomes of ethnic minority groups (World Bank 2012).

For more information, please read the full paper at Persistent Malnutrition in Ethnic Minority Communities of Vietnam : Issues and Options for Policy and Interventions