The World Bank last week approved a loan of US$310 million to help Việt Nam build climate resilience and ensure sustainable livelihoods for 1.2 million people living in nine Mekong Delta provinces affected by climate change, salinity intrusion, coastal erosion, and flooding.— VNA/VNS Photo Hùng Võ
WASHINGTON — The World Bank last week approved a loan of US$310 million to help Việt Nam build climate resilience and ensure sustainable livelihoods for 1.2 million people living in nine Mekong Delta provinces affected by climate change, salinity intrusion, coastal erosion, and flooding.
“Recent extreme weather in the Mekong River Delta, including drought and salinity intrusion, are negatively affecting the lives of the farmers – most of whom are poor,” Achim Fock, acting country director for the World Bank in Việt Nam, said.
“We believe this innovative project brings together an effective multi-sectoral model to help farmers adapt agriculture and aquaculture livelihoods to the impacts of climate change.”
The development of the agriculture sector, particularly in the delta, has contributed significantly to the development of Việt Nam as well as to regional food security.
The wetlands and estuaries of the delta are important sources of bio-diversity.
Việt Nam’s annual rice exports of $4 billion account for more than a fifth of the global total. The delta alone contributes half of Việt Nam’s rice, 70 per cent of its aquaculture products, and a third of its gross domestic product.
But it has also been identified as one of the most vulnerable deltas to the impacts of climate change and upstream development.
The Mekong Delta Integrated Climate Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods Project supports better climate-smart planning and improved climate resilience through land and water management practices.
The project will benefit farmers (especially rice) in the upper delta provinces and aquaculture farming and fishing households along the coastal provinces in the region, including the Khmer ethnic minority people living in Sóc Trăng and Trà Vinh provinces.
“Working on complex landscapes such as the Mekong Delta, which faces both climate change and development threats, requires a partnership with the government,” Anjali Acharya, environment sector coordinator for the World Bank in Việt Nam, said.
The project is a critical part of the World Bank’s long-term engagement in the Mekong Delta to strengthen integrated adaptive delta management by bringing together the different sectors and provinces to plan, prioritise, and implement resilient investments.
The estimated cost of the project is $387 million. — VNS