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Japan fund grants $2.5m to help poor vendors

Update: May, 23/2013 - 09:47

HA NOI (VNS)— About 600 poor street vendors in Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia are set to benefit from financial loans from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, announced the Asian Development Bank yesterday.

The total funds for the micro-finance loans offered to household businesses by 2017 amount to US$2.5 million, and beneficiaries will also receive training and business counselling.

At least 70 per cent of the grant will be earmarked for poor female vendors, according to the ADB, which will administer the grant.

The move aims to help vendors raise their incomes through their own businesses, with work also including the construction of three small markets in central Quang Tri Province's Dong Ha Town in Viet Nam, and the towns of Battambang in Cambodia and Kaysome Phomvihane in Lao – all three locations are situated in the economic corridor between the three countries.

The towns were selected as locations for the new markets thanks to their size, proximity to agricultural production and advantages in cross-border trade.

The $2.5-million grant is a part of three projects to improve towns along the economic corridor between the three neighbouring countries, worth a total of $220 million.

According to Florian Steinberg, the ADB's Senior Urban Development Specialist for Southeast Asia, the project will set aside space in the new market buildings specifically for women vendors.

It also helps them access local daycare services for their children, and build separate latrines to ensure they can safely spend the day in their workplace. — VNS

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