HA NOI — The State Bank of Viet Nam and the World Bank yesterday signed agreements on three projects totalling US$973.5 million to support the development of modern infrastructure.
Given in recognition of recent reforms in Viet Nam, the money will be used to finance the Da Nang-Quang Ngai Expressway Project ($613.5 million), the Medium Cities Development Project ($210 million) and the 10th Poverty Reduction Support Credit ($150 million).
The Da Nang-Quang Ngai Expressway Project will enhance efficiency and safety for drivers travelling between Da Nang City and Quang Ngai Province, and build institutional capacity for further expressway development in Viet Nam's Ministry of Transport.
The Medium Cities Development Project is expected to provide better urban infrastructure for up to 520,000 people in the cities of Lao Cai, Phu Ly and Vinh. After its completion, people in the three cities are expected to benefit from access to improved water sources, sanitation, transport system, and a more sustainable urban asset management plan.
The 10th Poverty Reduction Support Credit refers to policy and institutional reforms under four main themes of the 2006-11 Socio-economic Development Plan: business development, social inclusion, natural resources management and modern governance. PRSC 10 is the last in a series of 10 credits, aimed at supporting Viet Nam's reforms in order to reduce poverty and strengthen co-ordination among ministries and Government agencies.
The same day, the Ministry of Construction and the World Bank held a meeting in the southern city of Can Tho to review the results of a project to upgrade six urban areas in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region.
Approved by the Prime Minister in October of last year, the project is part of a national strategy to improve living conditions for people in the region by 2020.
The strategy involves upgrading the water supply and sewer systems in Can Tho, My Tho, Ca Mau, Tra Vinh, Cao Lanh and Rach Gia cities.
The project has a total investment of $600 million, 65 per cent of which was provided by the World Bank and the remainder from Viet Nam itself.
Once completed, it is expected to benefit 142,000 people directly and nearly 1.4 million indirectly. Approximately 12,100 families will be provided with loans, each worth VND20-30 million ($950-1,430) to repair their houses.
In 2007, the urban upgrading programme was launched in HCM City, Nam Dinh, Hai Phong and Can Tho provinces. About 2.2 million people in the four localities have so far benefited from the programme. — VNS