Japan funds more bridges in central Vietnam

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Japan has agreed to provide a further grant of 749 million yen (US$9.4 million) over three years to help upgrade rural bridges in central Vietnam.

The money will help rebuild four bridges in Ninh Thuan, Khanh Hoa, and Dak Lak Provinces that have been deteriorated, creating bottlenecks and threaten the safety of users.

It is the third phase of a project undertaken through the Japan International Cooperation Agency in which 37 bridges were built in the region between 2001 and 2006 at a cost of $24.6 million, the agency said in a press release May 8.

JICA's chief representative, Motonori Tsuno, said in the release that the project is a Japanese effort to help the Vietnamese government "eliminate poverty and promote social integration and economic development.

"The central region was the most severely devastated region during the war and a risk-prone region facing many natural calamities such as typhoons and landslides every year," he said.

The first phase was in 1995-98 when 29 bridges were built in the north, and the second saw 38 bridges built in the Mekong River Delta in 2001-03, each at a cost of around $47 million.

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