ADB Board of Directors has approved loans totaling 149 million USD to help improve basic infrastructure and promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth tin the north central coastal region of Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved loans totaling 149 million USD to help improve basic infrastructure and promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth that will benefit over 1 million people in four provinces in the north central coastal region of Vietnam.

ADB’s assistance for the Basic Infrastructure for Inclusive Growth in the North Central Provinces Sector Project includes a regular loan of 52 million USD and a concessional loan worth 97 million USD. 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 USD, with the Government of Vietnam contributing 54.52 million USD.

According to Eric Sidgwick, ADB’s Country Director for Vietnam, Vietnam has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world since 2010, with an annual growth average of about 6 percent as of 2015.

But growth has not been significantly reflected in rural areas, particularly in the north central provinces, he noted.

“ADB’s assistance will help promote inclusive growth and bridge the development gap by integrating cities and the rural areas in the region,” he said.

Economic development in the project provinces, namely 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 percent compared to the 7 percent national average.

Moreover, the provinces are extremely vulnerable to natural disasters and are predicted to have the country’s highest increase in annual mean temperature at 1.7 percent and annual rainfall shooting up by 20 percent

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 people.

It will boost business development through the construction and upgrading of rural water supply, flood protection, irrigation, and port services, while improving the capacity of the provincial governments, particularly in public asset management.

The project is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2023.-VNA