Vietnam’s Cities And Forests Get A Boost From ADB
By Minh Huynh-Le | Top News
May 11, 2011
Vietnam is set to improve clean water access, conserve threatened forests, and ease urban gridlock, funded by a $1.38 billion financial assistance package from the Asian Development Bank.
AsianScientist (May 11, 2011) – Vietnam is undertaking a US$4.5 billion economic and environmental three-part initiative to improve clean water access, conserve threatened forests, and ease urban gridlock, funded in part by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) through a US$1.38 billion financial assistance package.
A $1 billion financial support facility from ADB will develop clean water access for over 3 million people in Vietnam’s cities. Currently, four out of every ten families do not have connections to a central water supply system in large cities, and 30-40 percent of treated water is lost before it reaches the user. The facility aims to provide piped water access to half a million needy households who have never had this service. ADB’s contribution is part of a larger $2.8 billion investment program.
A $30 million loan from ADB’s Asian Development Fund will be used to enhance cross-border cooperation in protecting a biodiversity-rich forest in Central Vietnam, to restore forest habitats, and to safeguard the livelihoods of indigenous communities.
The area of interest spans the Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, and Quang Nam Provinces in Vietnam; a larger program is also set to preserve key forests in Cambodia and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. For Vietnam, $8 million will be used to improve water quality and sanitation, as well as for road upgrades in the 34 largely minority communes.
Finally, a $350 million loan from ADB will support a $1.6 billion project to construct a modern expressway to the south of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). Already highly congested, HCMC is in need of new roads to facilitate the transport of goods and people. The population of HCMC is expected to swell by more than 50 percent by 2025 which results in a dire need to minimize travel time and reduce traffic accidents. The planned 57 kilometer expressway, set to open in 2017, will pass between Ben Luc and Long Thanh and reduce traffic in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City by allowing vehicles traveling from east to west to bypass the city center.
“Sustainable economic development and environmental preservation are intertwined,” said ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda.
“In the long term, coupling conservation and livelihood improvements will help ensure that Viet Nam’s forests and their biodiversity are managed well. ADB’s assistance will help ensure that more people in Viet Nam have access to clean water, more livable cities, and biologically diverse forests that will be preserved for future generations,” he said.