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The GREAT Program is being implemented in Son La and Lao Cai provinces in the mountainous north-west of Vietnam, home to diverse ethnic minority populations. The significant economic growth record in Vietnam in recent years has not extended to the country’s north-west, with ethnic minority groups more likely to be faced with, or vulnerable to, poverty. Both provinces have significant potential in tourism and agriculture and the provincial government policies also support the growth of these sectors.

Son La is the largest province in north-west Vietnam and is home to 12 ethnic groups including Tay, Thai, Muong, Mong, Dao, Kho Mu, Xinh Mun and La Ha, representing over 84% of the population. Poverty rates in Son La are four times higher than the national average.

Lao Cai has a population of just over 700,000 and is home to 26 ethnic groups including Mong, Tay, Dao, Giay, Nung and others. Poverty rates in Lao Cai are not as high as other provinces in the north-west, but they still sit at three times the national average.