WB loans US$97 million to improve rural transportation
ADB supports Vietnam’s irrigation and urban infrastructure
By Tran Thu and Minh Duc - The Saigon Times Daily
HANOI, HCMC – An additional financing of US$97 million for a rural transport project is being made by the World Bank, aiming to create off-farm economic opportunities and social services for poor rural communities in Vietnam.
The State Bank of Vietnam and the World Bank last Friday signed the Additional Financing for the Third Rural Transport Project, according to a news release from the global lender’s Hanoi-based office.
The project is expected to increase the number of communities connected to new and improved road access, as well as improve the rural road conditions through better management and maintenance of the network.
To date, the Third Rural Transport Project has rehabilitated some 2,100km of roads, and completed the maintenance of approximately 13,000km of district roads and bridges. The improved transport system is expected to benefit up to five million people in 32 participating provinces in central and north Vietnam, including 14 provinces in the mountainous areas.
This additional financing comes from the International Development Association, the World Bank’s funding resource for low-income countries.
As a result of the heavy investments in road network development, Vietnam’s road network expanded from 225,000km in 1999 to 256,000km in 2009. This network now includes 196,400km of rural roads and serves around 75% of the entire national population and 90% of the nation’s poor who live in rural areas.
* The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Vietnam on Friday signed two loan agreements totaling US$180 million to help the country develop irrigation infrastructure and water resources management and services, and to improve urban infrastructure and municipal services in the north.
The credits include a loan of US$110 million for the development of the northern Chu and southern Ma rivers irrigation system project with an aim to increase water productivity, reduce rural energy use, and improve food security.
This project will support the Government’s plan to double the irrigated area from 15,700 hectares to more than 31,000 hectares. Through improved irrigation facilities and water supplies, the project is expected to benefit more than 466,000 people including Thai and Muong ethnic minorities.
Another US$70 million loan from the bank’s Asian Development Fund will finance urban infrastructure construction and upgrading and strengthening of local government’s urban management capacities in Viet Tri, Hung Yen and Dong Dang along the North-South Economic Corridor (NSEC).