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Sunday, December 5, 2021

EU, France aid flood risk management in Dien Bien Phu

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The European Union and France have agreed to provide 26.1 million euros (US$30.3 million) to enhance the flood risk management capacity of Dien Bien Phu Town in Vietnam’s northern highlands.

Two financing agreements for the project were signed by Bertrand Walckenaer, Deputy General Director of the French Development Agency (AFD), and Dinh Toan Thang, Ambassador of Vietnam to France, in Paris on the occasion of Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s official visit.

The support includes a loan of 24.65 million euros from AFD for infrastructure development and a 1.5 million euro grant for technical assistance through the Water and Natural Resources Management Facility (WARM) funded by the EU.

According to the French Embassy in Vietnam, the project will help address challenges and support the resilience of this city with 150,000 inhabitants.

Running for five years (from 2022 to 2026), the project will improve the town’s capacity to adapt to the impact of climate change, particularly to the flooding of the Nam Rom River. It is expected to reduce riverbank erosion, urban flooding and improve the livelihoods of the riverine population. 

The project will comprise constructing and operating hydraulic works along the Nam Rom River. Besides, it will assist the town in adopting nature-based approaches with eco-friendly engineering techniques and the development of spaces with more room for the river during high flooding periods. 

“This marks an important milestone, which paves the way for more climate change adaptation investments to ensure the resilience of Vietnam’s development,” said EU’s Ambassador to Vietnam Giorgio Aliberti.

Along with financing for infrastructure, technical assistance to the project through an EU grant via the WARM Facility will be implemented. The support will build the local stakeholders’ capacity in project implementation and multi-disaster risk management. 

Capacity-building activities will include hazard and vulnerability mapping and the promotion of integrated urban development strategies. The project will also provide the local authorities with a better decision-making tool through hydrological data analysis and the development of a hydrological and hydraulic model of the Nam Rom River system.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh left Paris on November 5, concluding his official visit to France from November 3 at the invitation of his French counterpart Jean Castex.

In September 2013, the two countries established a strategic partnership on the occasion of then Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to France.

France is Vietnam’s fifth largest European trading partner after Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Italy. Bilateral trade in 2020 reached US$4.81 billion. 

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