World Bank puts $422 million toward Vietnamese universities, delta climate fight

By Sen    July 1, 2020 | 11:19 pm PT
World Bank puts $422 million toward Vietnamese universities, delta climate fight
A Vietnamese man carries wood on his boat in Vinh Long Province in the Mekong Delta, April 2018. Photo by Shutterstock/Pavel Sapozhnikov.
The World Bank has approved $422 million to boost academic capacity at Vietnam’s three national universities and improve Mekong Delta climate resilience.

Vietnam National University-Hanoi, its Ho Chi Minh City sister and the University of Da Nang will receive $295 million to improve their teaching and research capacity.

The credit package will allow the universities to update their infrastructure from "overcrowded and obsolete" to "modern, integrated, green and digital ready," the World Bank stated Tuesday.

It will also aid in equipment enhancement and knowledge transfer.

The funding aims to help the universities become "regionally competitive institutions with advanced teaching and research capabilities," the statement read.

Vinh Long Town in the eponymous province will receive the remaining $127 million to improve urban development, flood control and wastewater collection and treatment systems as well as key transport links.

The town, which is seen by the organization as "a secondary city strategically located along the economic corridor that connects Ho Chi Minh City to Mekong Delta," will use the credit to reduce flooding risk to 60 percent of its population and build three strategic roads to serve as critical links in the city's transport network.

Ousmane Dione, World Bank country director in Vietnam, said: "These two projects will help accelerate real progress in areas critical to sustainable growth for Vietnam: skilled workers and more efficient and greener infrastructure."

Funding for both projects comes from International Development Association.

This is not the first investment World Bank has made in Vietnam regarding climate change and urban development.

Last month, it approved an $84.4 million loan for Vietnam to promote a climate resilient landscape, including green transportation and energy systems that will fund the government's ongoing five-year (2016-2020) climate change response program.

Vietnam is one of six economies most affected by climate change between 1999 and 2018, according to Global Climate Risk Index published last year by German environmental think tank Germanwatch.

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