ADB announces $80 mln loan to help Vietnam improve remote roads

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Monday it has approved a loan of US$80 million for Vietnam to upgrade roads in remote northern provinces, home to various ethnic minority communities.

The bank said the road rehabilitation project would improve about 300 kilometers of unpaved and frequently impassable roads in the six northern mountainous provinces of Bac Kan, Cao Bang, Ha Giang, Tuyen Quang, Yen Bai and Lao Cai.

(File) A suspension bridge under construction in Bac Quang District of Ha Giang, one of the six provinces where the ADB-loaned project would improve road conditions (Photo: Ha Giang Newspaper)

“Better road links to these remote communities will reduce the time and cost of travel, increase access to markets and social services, and help stimulate economic opportunities and investment,” Masahiro Nishimura, transport specialist in ADB’s Southeast Asia Department, said in the announcement.

The Philippines-based lender added the project would improve the connection between rural communities and national transport corridors, opening up new opportunities for trade and investment.

The project will be implemented by provincial people’s committees in the six provinces, marking a shift from the past when the Ministry of Transport was the executing agency, according to ADB.

The Nordic Development Fund is providing a grant of $2.7 million equivalent to develop climate proofing measures in the design of road rehabilitation works, the bank added.

ADB’s loan comes from its concessional Asian Development Fund, and the project is scheduled for completion in December 2016.

By Nguyen Thuy

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