The World Bank agreed Thursday to lend US$ 973.5 million to Vietnam for three poverty reduction and infrastructure projects.
The projects are the $613.5-million Da Nang Quang Ngai Expressway, $210-million Medium Cities Development project, and the $150-million 10th Poverty Reduction Support Credit.
"It is the first time that the World Bank is financing an expressway in Vietnam," said Victoria Kwakwa, the bank's country director in Vietnam.
"This is in recognition of Vietnam's need for modern infrastructure as it addresses emerging challenges of a lower middle income country."
"The other credits signed today are expected to provide urban infrastructure in three medium [sized] cities with potential for development in their region, and contribute to implementation of Vietnam's reforms."
The Da Nang Quang Ngai highway is expected to reduce the incidence of accidents, and facilitate domestic and international trade.
The Medium Cities Development project is expected to provide better urban infrastructure for 520,000 residents in the cities of Lao Cai, Phu Ly and Vinh.
The 10th Poverty Reduction Support Credit will support policy and institutional reform under four main themes of the 2006 2011 Social Economic Development Plan -- business development, social inclusion, natural resources management, and modern governance.