Vietnam, World Bank sign $390 mln in fight against poverty

Thanh Nien News

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A village road in the Central Highlands of Dak Lak. PHOTO COURTESY OF DAN TRI
Vietnam’s central bank and the World Bank Thursday signed agreements for three projects worth US$390 million to support infrastructure, agriculture and livelihoods in the country’s poorest areas.
“These projects respond to different drivers of poverty in Vietnam including limited livelihood opportunities, remoteness and lack of connectivity, low productivity agriculture and fragmented and ineffective social assistance programs,” Victoria Kwakwa, Country Director for the World Bank in Vietnam, said in a statement.
The funds will be used for the Central Highlands Poverty Reduction Project ($150 million), the Irrigated Agriculture Improvement Project ($180 million), and the Social Assistance System Strengthening Project ($60 million), according to a press release from World Bank.
The first project aims to support the government in addressing extreme poverty in the Central Highlands region by financing infrastructure, sustainable livelihoods, and providing trainings in livelihood skills, project management for the 26 poorest districts in the provinces of Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Quang Nam and Quang Ngai.
The majority of target beneficiaries will be ethnic minority groups in the participating provinces.
The second project will increase water and land-use efficiency, enhance agricultural productivity, and reduce vulnerability to adverse climatic events for farmers and rural families in the Central Coast Region and selected provinces in the Northern Mountainous Region.
The project will support farmers in adopting climate-smart farming techniques, including systems of rice intensification and crop diversification, use of bio-fertilizer, and integrated pest management.
It is expected that when completed, the project will serve 83,400 ha of agricultural land with better and reliable irrigation services.
The third project will put in place critical elements of a strengthened social assistance system nationwide, including a national database of poor and near-poor households and social assistance beneficiaries and a management information system.

This will support the government’s objective of reducing fragmentation of social assistance programs by laying the foundation for program consolidation and improving the effectiveness of public spending on social assistance.

Funding for all three projects comes from the International Development Association, the World Bank Group’s funding window for low-income countries.

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