The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$60 million financing package to improve the climate resilience of transport and water supply infrastructure in Vietnam’s central region, focusing on remote upland districts with large ethnic minority communities.
The Climate Resilient Inclusive Infrastructure for Ethnic Minorities Project I, designed for the provinces of Binh Dinh and Quang Nam, will upgrade 122 kilometres of roads using climate-resilient design standards, construct 115 km of water supply pipelines, and help provide reliable weather and climate data in a timely, cost-effective manner.
About 243,000 people, including 126,300 from ethnic minority groups, are expected to benefit from the project.
“It will better link remote rural production sites with markets and processing facilities for crops such as acacia and boost beneficiaries’ access to health, education, and market services. The project will also expand access to safe water supply and irrigation,” says ADB programmes officer Hong Anh Nguyen.
The financing package includes US$58 million in regular ADB loans and a US$2 million grant from ADB’s High-Level Technology Fund. The grant will fund the supply and installation of data systems for climate risk management. The project will include US$21.73 million in financing from the Vietnamese government.
About 87% of the ethnic minority households in Binh Dinh and 55% in Quang Nam are poor or near poor, compared with the provincial poverty rates of 5.5% and 10.3% respectively, the ADB says. Most of the ethnic minority communities are often isolated during the rainy season, cut off by flooded roads situated in hilly or mountainous terrain. Less than 60% of households within the project area have access to reliable and safe water supply. Limited access to water and poor sanitation have led to high incidence of waterborne diseases and poverty.
The ADB says Vietnam suffers an estimated annual average loss of US$2.37 billion due to natural hazards, especially floods, with the two central coastal provinces among the most affected areas.