World Bank loans Vietnam $560 million for urban development, climate resilience

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A boy holding his brother walks on a drought-hit rice field in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang on March 2, 2016. Photo credit: AFP A boy holding his brother walks on a drought-hit rice field in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang on March 2, 2016. Photo credit: AFP

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Vietnam’s central bank and the World Bank on Monday signed agreements for loans and credits worth US$560 million for two projects to support urban development, climate resilience and sustainable livelihoods in the Mekong Delta.
Out of the total, $250 million will be used for the Can Tho Urban Development and Resilience Project to reduce flood risk and improve connectivity between downtown Can Tho City and the new urban areas. The project aims to benefit more than 420,000 urban dwellers and enhance the capacity of city authorities to manage disaster risk.
The remaining $310 million will be earmarked to build climate resilience and ensure sustainable livelihoods of 1.2 million people living in nine Mekong Delta provinces affected by climate change, salinity intrusion, coastal erosion, and flooding.
Achim Fock, the World Bank’s acting country director in Vietnam, said in a statement: “Recent extreme weather phenomena in the Mekong River Delta, including flooding, drought and salinity intrusion, are negatively affecting the lives of people in the region – both in urban and rural areas, most of whom are poor.”
“We believe the projects signed today will contribute to efforts to help the region adapt to climate change in a sustainable manner,” he said.
The 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 fisher-folk households along the coastal provinces in the region.
The project is a critical part of the World Bank’s long-term engagement in the Mekong Delta to strengthen integrated adaptive delta management by bringing together the different sectors and provinces to plan, prioritize, and implement resilient investments.
Meanwhile, the Can Tho Urban Development and Resilience Project supports the construction of surrounding embankment, tidal gates/valves and improved rainwater storage and drainage systems, as well as other non-structural measures to help the city manage urban flood risk.
It will also help increase intra-city connectivity and encourage new urban development in the less flood prone area of Cai Rang. Under the project, management systems will also be built to improve spatial planning, data and information management and public financial management.

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