|Farmers in An Lão District, the south-central province of Bình Định, clearing up a field after a serious flood in October 2020. — VNA/VNS Photo Tường Quân|
HÀ NỘI — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $60 million financial package to improve the climate resilience of the transport and water supply infrastructure in Việt Nam’s south-central coastal provinces of Bình Định and Quảng Nam.
The money will specifically target remote upland districts with large ethnic minority communities.
The Climate Resilient Inclusive Infrastructure for Ethnic Minorities Project I, will upgrade 121.8km of roads using climate-resilient design standards, construct 115km of water supply pipelines, and help provide reliable weather and climate data in a timely, cost-effective manner. About 243,000 people, including 126,300 from ethnic minority groups, are expected to benefit from the project.
“The project aims to improve the living conditions of ethnic minority communities in remote areas of Việt Nam,” said ADB Programs Officer Nguyễn Hồng Anh.
“It will better link remote rural production sites with markets and processing facilities for crops such as acacia and boost beneficiaries’ access to health, education, and market services. The project will also expand access to safe water supply and irrigation.”
The financing package includes $58 million in regular ADB loans and a $2 million grant from ADB’s High-Level Technology Fund. The grant will fund the supply and installation of data systems for climate risk management. In addition, the project will include $21.73 million in financing from the Government of Việt Nam.
Việt Nam’s economy grew 7.0 per cent on average from 2016 to 2018, but it slowed to 2.9 per cent in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Significant gaps exist between the economically booming coastal communities and the interior upland areas with a high ethnic minority population.
About 87 per cent of ethnic minority households in Bình Định and 55 per cent in Quảng Nam are poor or near poor, compared with the provincial poverty rates of 5.5 per cent and 10.3 per cent, respectively.
These areas are challenged by low-quality, fragmented transport and water resource infrastructure. Most of the ethnic minority communities are often isolated during the rainy season, cut off by flooded roads situated in hilly or mountainous terrain. Less than 60 per cent of households within the project area have access to reliable and safe water supply. Limited access to water and poor sanitation have led to high incidence of waterborne diseases and poverty.
Việt Nam faces a high risk of disasters and climate change. The country experiences an estimated annual average loss of $2.37 billion due to natural hazards, especially floods, with Bình Định and Quảng Nam among the most affected areas. — VNS