World Bank provides $500 mln funding for transport and flood control in Vietnam

By Lam Le   May 1, 2016 | 07:43 pm GMT+7

The World Bank approved on April 29 more than $500 million in support for improvements to road and bridge connections as well as flood control and sanitation conditions in Vietnam.

The funding support, totaling $535 million, will be allocated to two projects: $385 million for the Local Bridge Construction and Road Asset Management project and $150 million for the Vinh Phuc Flood Risk and Water Management project.

The results-based operation called Local Bridge Construction and Road Asset Management aims to enhance road access and lower road users’ transport costs in participating provinces that include more than 2.5 million people and 800 isolated communities.

It supports parts of the National Strategy on Rural Transport Development, including $135 million for the rehabilitation of 676 kilometers and maintenance of 48,578 kilometers of local roads in 14 targeted provinces. It also provides $245.5 million for the reconstruction or construction of 2,174 small bridges to isolated and impoverished communities in 50 provinces across Vietnam under the Local Bridge Construction Component, along with $4.5 million in technical assistance for project completion.

The results-based operation directly links disbursement of funds to the delivery of verifiable results, including kilometers of roadway that is improved and rehabilitated, and the number or bridges built or rebuilt. It is funded out of the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), the fund for the poorest countries.

The Vinh Phuc Flood Risk and Water Management Project aims to directly benefit inhabitants in flood-prone areas along the Phan River Basin by strengthening flood risk management capacity and improving wastewater management in Vinh Phuc province in the Red River Delta.

The project will provide flood control infrastructure, wastewater collection and treatment facilities, and strengthen capacity in the province for flood forecasting and prevention, as well as for better use of water resources. The project will protect more than 255,000 residents — 60 percent in rural areas and 40 percent in urban areas and small towns, and about 5,720 hectares out of 8,390 frequently flooded hectares from the floods of ten year return period. The project is also set to improve sanitation conditions for about 120,000 residents living in four small towns and 33 rural villages, and support the province with the establishment of a flood early warning and emergency response system and a river basin management mechanism.

The $150 million in funding from the project is from the World Bank Group’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the lending arm for middle-income countries.

The World Bank has yet to answer VnExpress whether the $500 million funding support is a grant, loan or combination of both.