Additional funding of $171 mln approved for Mekong Delta transportation upgrade

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An additional financing of US$171 million has been approved for an ongoing transport infrastructure project in Vietnam's Mekong Delta, the World Bank said in a recent press release.

The bank said $156 million of the supplemental funding was approved by its Board of Executive Directors on Tuesday, while the rest came from the Australian Agency for International Development.

The project's original cost was $306.70 million with Vietnam contributing $74 million, according to the bank's website.

Slated for completion at the end of 2015, the project aims to upgrade the region's network of roadways, waterways and ports.

It is expected to help reduce the travel time for rice barges from Rach Gia Town in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang to Ho Chi Minh City by five hours, and the average travel time by truck on the National Highway 91 by 10 percent.

It also aims to decrease the fatality rate on the highway by 15 percent and on inland waterway corridors by 5 percent, the bank said.

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