Vietnam asks ADB for financial support in fighting drought and salinity

By Toan Dao   June 16, 2016 | 05:10 pm PT
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to provide financial support to help Vietnam deal with the climate change, including the drought and salinity in the Mekong Delta.

Phuc made the suggestions in a meeting with ADB President Takehiko Nakao who is on a three-day visit to Vietnam concluding June 17, the Vietnamese government portal said in a statement on Thursday.

Over the last few months, the prolonged drought caused by El Nino has had devastating consequences for hundreds of thousands of plantations as well as the lives of two million people in the southern and central parts of the country.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and ADB President Takehiko Nakao (L). Photo by VGP/Quang Hieu

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and ADB President Takehiko Nakao (L). Photo by VGP/Quang Hieu

The prolonged drought has also caused severe saltwater intrusion in 10 out of 13 provinces throughout the Mekong Delta, with saltwater intruding 20-25 kilometers further inland compared with seasonal averages.

The World Bank on June 10 approved a $310 million loan to help Vietnam tackle climate change and ensure the sustainable livelihoods of local residents in the Mekong Delta. Around 1.2 million people in nine Mekong Delta provinces who have been affected by climate change, salinity intrusion, coastal erosion and flooding will benefit from the Mekong Delta Integrated Climate Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods Project.Several countries also joined forces to provide financial assistance to help people in the Delta to overcome the difficult time.

The Prime Minister has expressed his thanks to ADB for supporting more than 160 programs/projects worth over $15 billion in Vietnam. “We hope that ADB will continue to provide preferential loans to support Vietnam’s economic reforms and poverty and hunger reduction efforts,” Phuc said.

He said Vietnamese government is implementing various measures to make full use of the official development assistance as well as ADB’s loans for the country’s social-economic development.

The ADB President called on Vietnam to accelerate the disbursement of its approved loans. He said the bank is willing to provide financial support to help Vietnam combat climate change and poverty and hunger; develop transport infrastructure and renewable energy; control bad loan and budget collection issues; push for state-owned enterprise restructuring and development of private sector.

Related news:

> Vinh Long wants $33 million from state budget to help combat drought and salinity

> Historic drought costs Vietnam $670 million

> Japan offers $2.5 mln in emergency aid to help Vietnam combat drought

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