HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed two loan agreements totaling US$165 million yesterday, one for improving lower secondary education of ethnic minorities in the country's poorest regions and the other for additional financing to scale up rural infrastructure investments in the central region.
"Built on lessons learned from the first phase, ADB is providing further support to the Government's efforts to continue delivering lower secondary education to ethnic minorities in the poorest regions and addressing rural infrastructure constraints," said Tomoyuki Kimura, ADB's Country Director for Viet Nam.
The first $80 million loan agreement signed is for the second phase of the Lower Secondary Education for the Most Disadvantaged Areas Project. The project is the first large-scale support for lower secondary education of poor ethnic minorities in the northern mountainous region, Central Highlands, Mekong River Delta and typhoon-affected coastal areas. The first phase was completed last year.
With a six-year implementation period starting in early 2015, the second phase aims to improve the net enrolment rate of lower secondary education in the target areas by five per cent by 2020 through the construction of 660 classrooms, 350 semi-boarding facilities, around 250 teacher housing facilities and training of some 24,000 teachers, as well as development of about 344 new school clusters.
The second loan of $85 million provides additional financing for the Integrated Rural Development Infrastructure Sector Project, which targets critical rural infrastructure in 13 provinces in the central region. It will fund the improving and expanding of irrigation infrastructure over four years in the provinces of Binh Dinh, Binh Thuan, Ha Tinh, Ninh Thuan, Phu Yen and Thua Thien Hue. — VNS