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Sunday, June 16, 2024

WB offers aid for higher education, urban development in Vietnam

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HCMC – On June 30, the World Bank’s (WB) board of executive directors approved the financing of two projects —to help build a climate-resilient city in the Mekong Delta and improve the quality of Vietnam’s three national universities—at US$422 million.

The Vietnam University Development Project, financed through credit worth US$295 million, will improve teaching and research capacity at the Vietnam National University-Hanoi, the Vietnam National University-HCMC and the University of Danang, the WB said in a statement.

Through investments in modern infrastructure, cutting-edge equipment and knowledge transfer, it will help transform the universities into regionally competitive institutions with advanced teaching and research capabilities.

Meanwhile, the Vinh Long City Urban Development and Enhanced Climate Resilience Project in Vinh Long Province, financed through credit worth US$127 million, will improve access to infrastructure and connectivity and reduce the risk of floods in Vinh Long City’s urban core.

By building flood control and wastewater management systems and developing key transport links, it will better equip the southern province to function as an economically and physically integrated metropolitan area.

“Investing in human capital and urban development are among the top priorities of the World Bank’s engagement in Vietnam,” noted Ousmane Dione, the World Bank country director for Vietnam.

Dione stressed that the two projects will help accelerate real progress in areas critical to sustainable growth in Vietnam: skilled workers and more efficient and greener infrastructure.

The university development project aims to address certain key challenges faced by the higher education system. With the new funding, university infrastructure, once overcrowded and obsolete, will be upgraded to become modern, integrated, green and digital ready.

The project, implemented in the three flagship universities, is also expected to enhance institutional capacity and to adopt new digital technology, in line with the national goals identified in the recently amended law on higher education and the upcoming 10-year higher education strategy.

The Vinh Long City development project will invest in resilient infrastructure and the improved disaster risk management of Vinh Long City – a secondary city strategically located along the economic corridor that connects Ho Chi Minh City to the Mekong Delta.

The project will help improve access to basic services such as drainage, wastewater collection and treatment and other green infrastructure and reduce the flooding risk that 60% of the city’s population faces. It will also develop three strategic roads that will serve as critical links in the city’s road network.

The credit for the two projects has been provided by the International Development Association.

By Gia Phong

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