Over $500 million credited for agriculture, poverty reduction, bus rapid transit system

The State Bank of Vietnam and the World Bank has just signed four credit agreements totaling US$507 million to support Vietnam’s priorities in sustainable agriculture, poverty reduction, and a bus rapid transit system.

The signing took place in Washington DC, on the occasion of the first official visit of General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to the United States.

“The signing signals the close partnership between Vietnam and the World Bank, and we look forward to even more comprehensive cooperation in areas of strategic importance to the country,” said Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank’s Country Director for Vietnam.

The financing covers four projects: the Sustainable Agriculture Transformation Project (US$238 million); additional financing for the ongoing Livestock Competitiveness and Food Safety Project (US$ 45 million); additional financing for the Second Northern Mountains Poverty Reduction Project (US$100 million); and the Ho Chi Minh City Green Transport Development Project (US$124 million).

The Sustainable Agriculture Transformation Project supports the government’s efforts to reform the agriculture sector, especially rice and coffee production. It will directly benefit up to 140,000 families in the Mekong Delta by helping them to improve farming practices, invest in processing infrastructure, and link with agri-businesses. The project will also support some 62,000 coffee-producing households of about 250,000 people in the Central Highlands.

The Livestock Competitiveness and Food Safety Project is working to boost the efficiency of the livestock sector; reduce the environmental impact of livestock production, processing and marketing; and improve food safety in livestock product supply chains. The project has already yielded results, as better animal husbandry practices have helped reduce mortality rates and lowered the cost of animal feeding.

The Second Northern Mountains Poverty Reduction Project is supporting the government’s efforts to reduce poverty in the poorest region of Vietnam. The additional financing will continue and deepen poverty reduction activities in the six northern provinces of Hoa Binh, Son La, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Lao Cai and Yen Bai; include additional districts and communes; scale-up and strengthen participatory local development planning and institutionalize this approach in the government’s overall national poverty reduction programs; and promote market linkages and business innovations to boost farmers’ income.

The Ho Chi Minh City Green Transport Development Project will finance the development of a 23-kilometer-long Bus Rapid Transit corridor, which will transport up to 28,300 passengers a day. The project will also help city authorities prepare for a proposed six-line network and lay the foundation for an integrated public transport system in the future.

By staff writer- Translated by Uyen Phuong

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