A dried rice field in Mekong Delta (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The World Bank approved a 310 million USD credit on June 11 to help Vietnam build climate resilience and ensure sustainable livelihoods of 1.2 million people living in nine Mekong Delta provinces affected by climate change, salinity intrusion, coastal erosion, and flooding.

“Recent extreme weather in the Mekong River Delta, including drought and salinity intrusion, are negatively affecting the lives of the farmers – most of whom are poor,” said Achim Fock, Acting Country Director for the World Bank in Vietnam.

“We believe this innovative project brings together an effective multi-sectoral model to help farmers adapt agriculture and aquaculture livelihoods to the impacts of climate change”, he added.

Meanwhile, Anjali Acharya, Environment Sector Coordinator for the World Bank in Vietnam said, “Working on complex landscapes such as the Mekong Delta, which faces both climate change and development threats, requires a partnership with the government.”

She added that the project also exemplifies the value and benefit of close cooperation among key development partners, and can be replicable in other countries.

The approved project supports better climate-smart planning and improved climate resilience of land and water management practices.

The project will benefit farmers (especially those planting rice) in the upper delta provinces and aquaculture farm and fishing households along the coastal provinces in the region, including the Khmer ethnic minority people living in Soc Trang and Tra Vinh provinces.

The project is a critical part of the World Bank’s long-term engagement in the Mekong Delta to strengthen integrated adaptive delta management by bringing together the different sectors and provinces to plan, prioritize, and implement resilient investments.

The agriculture sector, particularly in the Mekong Delta, has contributed significantly to the development of Vietnam, as well as to regional food security.

The wetlands and estuaries of the Delta are important sources of biodiversity. But the region has also been identified as one of the most vulnerable deltas to the impacts of climate change as well as upstream development.-VNA