ADB agrees US$210 million loan to revamp rural areas

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Vietnam have signed three loan agreements of $210 million to revamp rural areas with improved infrastructure, transport connectivity and communicable disease control centers.

A corner of Duong Lam ancient village in Hanoi. ADB oks  three loan agreements of $210 million to revamp rural areas with improved infrastructure, transport connectivity and communicable disease control centers.

Mr. Nguyen Van Giau, Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam and Mr. Ayumi Konishi, ADB Country Director for Vietnam, signed the agreements under which ADB will fund the projects.

Many communities living in the mountainous regions lack basic infrastructure which results in their physical isolation from the rest of the country, thereby limiting access to economic opportunities and social services. This situation hinders the Government’s efforts in poverty reduction and widens the rural-urban gap.

A US$108 million loan for Sustainable Rural Infrastructure Development in the Northern Mountain Provinces will focus on improving small to medium scale irrigation and drainage systems for 12,400 hectares of farmland, 600 kilometers of rural road construction and the setting up of commune markets in 15 of the poorest provinces of the mountainous areas in northern Vietnam.

“With improved irrigation systems, the project will contribute significantly to the country’s food security, especially in the face of rising demands and the worsening impact of climate change and also to the Government’s efforts to reach out to the poor at a time when Vietnam is accelerating its growth as a new middle income country,” Mr. Konishi said.

A US$75 million loan will finance the Transport Network Improvement Project in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) which will improve 340 kilometers of road from the northern province of Thanh Hoa through Houaphanh province in northeastern Lao PDR to Bangkok, Thailand.  The project will also cover maintenance and tackle vehicle overloading problems which undermine road sustainability. 

The Second GMS Regional Communicable Disease Control Project will target improvement in health services and involve disease control for around 1.7 million people living in 116 border districts of Vietnam, Lao PDR and Cambodia. Under this Project, Vietnam will receive US$27 million from ADB to expand its surveillance response system to combat dengue outbreaks and prevent the spread of communicable and other tropical diseases.

“Infectious diseases have a major impact on productivity, trade and tourism in the region and will continue to pose a public health threat,” said Mr. Konishi. “Active participation by local authorities and communities, and coordination amongst the countries was the key to preventing the spread of cross-border communicable diseases.”

By Uyen Phuong

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