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Viet Nam, WB sign $390m pacts to fight poverty

Update: April, 25/2014 - 08:52
The funding will be used for the Central Highlands Poverty Reduction Project ($150 million), the Irrigated Agriculture Improvement Project ($180 million), and the Social Assistance System Strengthening Project ($60 million). — VNA./VNS Photo

HA NOI (VNS)— The State Bank of Viet Nam and the World Bank yesterday (April 24) signed credit agreements worth US$390 million for three projects to develop community infrastructure, improve agriculture and livelihoods in the country's poorest areas, and strengthen the social security system.

"These projects respond to different drivers of poverty in Viet Nam including limited livelihood opportunities, remoteness and lack of connectivity, low-productivity agriculture, and fragmented and ineffective social assistance programmes," Victoria Kwakwa, the bank's country director for Viet Nam, said.

The funding will be used for the Central Highlands Poverty Reduction Project ($150 million), the Irrigated Agriculture Improvement Project ($180 million), and the Social Assistance System Strengthening Project ($60 million).

The Central Highlands project will enable the Government to address extreme poverty in this region, the second poorest in the country. It will finance village and commune infrastructure, sustainable livelihoods, and connective infrastructure and provide training in livelihoods skills, project management, and more general public administration skills in the 26 poorest districts in the provinces of Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Quang Nam, and Quang Ngai.

The Irrigated Agriculture Improvement Project will improve water- and land-use efficiency, boost agricultural productivity, and reduce farmers' and rural households' vulnerability to climatic events along the central coast (Thanh Hoa, Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, and Quang Nam provinces) and in the northern mountainous region (Ha Giang, Phu Tho, and Hoa Binh).

The Social Assistance System Strengthening Project will put in place critical elements of a strengthened social welfare system nation-wide, including a database of poor and near-poor households and social assistance beneficiaries, and a management information system. — VNS

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