The World Bank has approved a US$310 million loan to help Vietnam build climate resilience and ensure sustainable livelihoods for 1.2 million people in the Mekong Delta region.
These people live in nine Mekong Delta provinces affected by climate change, salinity intrusion, coastal erosion and flooding, the Washington-based development bank said in a recent statement.
Achim Fock, the acting country director in Vietnam, said: “Recent extreme weather in the Mekong River Delta, including drought and salinity intrusion, are negatively affecting the lives of the farmers – most of whom are poor.
“We believe this innovative project brings together an effective multi-sectoral model to help farmers adapt agriculture and aquaculture livelihoods to the impacts of climate change.”
The Mekong Delta contributes half of Vietnam’s rice, 70 percent of its aquaculture products, and one-third of Vietnam’s GDP. But the region has also been identified as one of the most vulnerable deltas to the impacts of climate change as well as upstream development.
The approved Mekong Delta Integrated Climate Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods Project supports better climate-smart planning and improved climate resilience of land and water management practices. It will benefit farmers in the upper delta provinces and aquaculture farm and fisherfolk households along the coastal provinces in the region, including the Khmer ethnic minority people living in Soc Trang and Tra Vinh provinces.
“Working on complex landscapes such as the Mekong Delta, which faces both climate change and development threats, requires a partnership with the government,” said Anjali Acharya, environment sector coordinator for the World Bank in Vietnam. “This project also exemplifies the value and benefit of close cooperation among key development partners and can be replicable in other countries.”