ADB commits $60 million to improve climate infrastructure for ethnic minorities in Vietnam

August 26, 2021 | 16:27
ADB has just approved $60 million to improve the climate resilience of transport and water supply infrastructure in Vietnam’s south-central coastal provinces of Binh Dinh and Quang Nam, especially in remote uplands with large ethnic minority communities.
ADB commits $60 million to improve climate infrastructure for ethnic minorities in Vietnam
The $60 million will be used to improve transport and water supply infrastructure

The package includes $58 million of regular ADB loans and a $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. In addition, the project will include nearly $22 million in financing from the government.

The inclusive infrastructure for ethnic minorities includes upgrades for over 121km of roads using climate-resilient design standards, as well as the construction of 115km of water supply pipelines. About 243,000 people, including 126,300 from ethnic minority groups, are expected to benefit from the project.

Vietnam’s economy grew 7 per cent on average from 2016 to 2018, but it slowed to 2.9 per cent in 2020 due to the pandemic. Significant gaps exist between the economically booming coastal communities and the interior upland areas with a high ethnic minority population. About 87 per cent of the ethnic minority households in Binh Dinh and 55 per cent in Quang Nam are poor or near-poor, compared with the provincial poverty rates of 5.5 per cent and 10.3 per cent, respectively.

These areas are challenged by low-quality, fragmented transport and water resource infrastructure. 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 per cent of households within the project area have access to a reliable and safe water supply. Limited access to water and poor sanitation have led to the high incidence of waterborne diseases and poverty.

“The project aims to improve the living conditions of ethnic minority communities in remote areas of Vietnam,” said ADB officer Nguyen Hong Anh. “It will better link remote rural production sites with markets and processing facilities for crops such as acacia and boost access to health, education, and market services. The project will also expand access to safe water supply and irrigation.”

Vietnam faces a high risk of disasters and climate change. The country experiences an estimated annual average loss of $2.37 billion due to natural hazards, especially floods, with Binh Dinh and Quang Nam among the most affected areas.

By Nguyen Huong

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