French consultancy to help Vietnam city combat climate change

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Da Nang has hired a French consultancy company to draw up climate change adaptation plans.

The French embassy in Hanoi said the deal, funded by the French Development Agency (AFD), is likely to be a forerunner for similar plans by cities and provinces across Vietnam.

The contract with Asconit Consultants, signed just ahead of the 18th UN Climate Change Conference starting in Doha November 26, is part of the Support Program to Respond to Climate Change initiated in 2009 by the French agency and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

It envisages 60 projects focused on construction, improving coastal and river dikes, protecting water sources from salinity, and regrowing mangrove forests in 53 cities and provinces, especially in the Mekong Delta and coastal and mountainous regions.

The program is estimated to cost VND20 trillion (US$960 million).

It has received loans of US$77 million from the AFD, JICA, the World Bank, Korea's KeximBank, and Canadian and Australian development agencies. The loans are expected to reach $248 million by the end of this year.

French Development Agency has provided loans of $440 million for 12 climate-change programs in Vietnam since 2006.

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