The World Bank announced on March 23 that it had approved a US$522 million development loan for Vietnam's urban, energy, and forest sectors.
The three sectors to receive development funds include the Mekong Delta Region Urban Upgrade Project; the Second Power Sector Reform Development Policy Operation; and the Forest Sector Development Project.
The Mekong Delta Region Urban Upgrade Project will use the funds to improve infrastructure and services for more than 1.5 million people living in the Mekong delta city of Can Tho; and the Mekong delta provinces of My Tho, Dong Thap, Kien Giang, Ca Mau and Tra Vinh.
International Development Association of the World Bank (IDA) will provide US$292 million for the Mekong Delta Region Urban Upgrade Project.
The Forest Sector Development Project aims to promote sustainable smallholder plantation forestry to help raise rural income and support biodiversity conservation across high priority conservation areas in Vietnam.
The project will support the National Forest Strategy by restoring and increasing forest cover; promote market-based approach to forestry; increase the role and responsibility of local forest owners; strengthen management of protected areas; and conserve biodiversity with the involvement of local communities.
“The approval of the three operations demonstrates the continued strong partnership between Vietnam and the World Bank. They address emerging challenges such as rapid urbanization, the need for an efficient power sector to meet Vietnam's rapidly growing demand for power to support rapid growth, and the importance of sustainable management of Vietnam's forest resources to help move rural communities out of poverty," said Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam.