ADB gives Vietnam $1.5 mln to upgrade main north-south highway

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The Asian Development Bank will give Vietnam US$1.5 million in non-refundable grants to upgrade its main north-south highway, Vietnam News Agency reported Tuesday.

Under an agreement signed by the State Bank of Vietnam, the Ministry of Transport, and ADB in Hanoi, the money will be used to improve sections of the National Highway No.1 in the central provinces of Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan.

The project is aimed at improving traffic safety in the sections and its capacity to withstand the natural disasters that often strike the central region.

It will also bolster local agencies' ability to manage traffic.

VNA quoted ADB's Vietnam country director Tomoyuki Kimura as saying that traffic safety was one of the greatest challenges for Vietnam, where every one and half out of 10,000 people die in traffic accidents one of the world's highest rates.

The frequent floods and landslides also implied risks to traffic safety, he added.

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