HA NOI, VIET NAM (18 December 2017) — The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved loans totaling $149 million to help improve basic infrastructure services and promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth that will benefit over 1 million people in four provinces in the north central coastal region of Viet Nam.

ADB’s assistance for the Basic Infrastructure for Inclusive Growth in the North Central Provinces Sector Project includes a regular loan of $52 million and a concessional loan worth $97 million. Both loans will be financed from the ordinary capital resources where most of ADB’s lending come from. The total cost of the project, is $203.52 million, with the Government of Viet Nam contributing $54.52 million.

“Viet Nam has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world since 2010, with an annual growth average of about 6% as of 2015. But growth has not been significantly reflected in the rural areas, particularly in the north central provinces,” said Eric Sidgwick, ADB’s Country Director for Viet Nam. “ADB’s assistance will help promote inclusive growth and bridge the development gap by integrating cities and the rural areas in the region.”

Economic development in the project provinces—Ha Tinh, Nghe An, Quang Binh, and Quang Tri—has been constrained by the fragmented coverage of basic infrastructure, with the 2015 poverty rate reaching 13% compared to the 7% national average. Moreover, the provinces are extremely vulnerability to weather-related disasters and are predicted to have the country’s highest increase in annual mean temperature at 1.7% and annual rainfall shooting up by 20%.

To address these issues, the project will improve connectivity among the provinces by upgrading and constructing about 214 kilometers of climate-resilient provincial and district roads, which will benefit more than 900,000 beneficiaries. It will boost business development through the construction and upgrading of rural water supply, flood protection, irrigation, and port services. It will also improve the capacity of the provincial governments, particularly in public asset management. The project is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2023.

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 cofinancing.

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