ADB lends Vietnam $198 mln for water projects

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Vietnam's government and the Asian Development Bank on Friday signed two loan agreements with a total value of US$198 million to finance clean water projects in Ho Chi Minh City.

The financing will help improve clean water access for residents of the city and surrounding provinces, the Manila-based bank said in a statement.

Of the two loans, the $138 million package is part of a $2.8 billion investment program aiming to connect almost 20,000 families to piped water for the first time. The goal is to increase piped water coverage in HCMC from 82 percent to 95 percent by 2025.

"Poor water coverage hits poor families the hardest and this investment program will benefit these families most," said Ayumi Konishi, Country Director for Vietnam. "When poor families are provided with piped water connections, it measurably improves their well-being and boosts their income."

The second loan of $60 million provides supplementary financing to Phuc Hoa Water Resources Project prepared in 2003.

The goal of the project is to provide additional water in the Saigon and Vam Co Dong river basins for irrigated agriculture and to supplement existing water supply to HCMC and neighboring provinces, ADB said.

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