ADB to lend Vietnam $170mn for urban infrastructure upgrade


The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved US$170 million in loans to aid the Vietnamese government in upgrading urban infrastructure and addressing climate change as part of its Secondary Green Cities Development Project.

Projects funded by these loans will benefit about 116,000 households in the cities of Hue, Vinh Yen, and Ha Giang, ADB said in a press release on Thursday.

These are the respective provincial capitals of Thua Thien-Hue in central Vietnam, and Vinh Phuc and Ha Giang in the northern part of the country.

Urbanization continues to have a positive impact on Vietnam’s growth, though many cities still lack key urban infrastructure services and remain vulnerable to climate change, particularly flooding, even as they continue to be centers of economic activity, according Satoshi Ishii, a Principal Urban Development Specialist at ADB.

“We look forward to working with the provincial people’s committees of Thua Thien-Hue, Vinh Phuc, and Ha Giang to make sure that their provincial capitals are green and climate-resilient, while enhancing their economic competitiveness,” Ishii said.

More than 30 million people live in urban centers in Vietnam, but the impact of urbanization across the country is extremely uneven.

Unlike the capital Hanoi and other highly developed urban centers, secondary cities, urban areas with populations between 50,000 to 300,000 such as Hue, Vinh Yen and Ha Giang, are lagging behind, according to ADB.

A perfect example is that less than 60 percent of households in secondary cities have access to clean water and only ten percent of their wastewater is properly treated.

The Secondary Green Cities Development Project will help improve the livability, environmental friendliness, and climate resilience of these urban centers.

For Vinh Yen, the project will include a new wastewater treatment system, upgrades to 66.1 kilometers of its drainage control, dredging of the Dam Vac lake, and the development of 44.5 hectares of new public green space.

In Hue, the project will include upgrades to 21.9 km of drainage pipelines, the rehabilitation of 15.9 km of road surface and drainage, and the development 17.2 ha of green space.

In Ha Giang, the project will upgrade about seven km of urban drainage, protect 5.6 km of river embankments, and enhance the road urban network through a new 6.2 km road and 150-meter bridge to divert the increase in traffic.

Apart from the loans, ADB will also administer a total of $14.1 million in technical assistance to  the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and $6 million in grant investments from the Global Environment Facility and the Urban Climate Change Resilience Trust Fund.

The technical assistance will mainstream a green and resilient city development approach across government agencies through policy advice and capacity building. The approach will then be replicated in other cities in Vietnam.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.

Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in co-financing.

Source: Tuoi Tre News

Photo: ADB / CBR Investment AG