The northern border province of Lang Son is calling official development assistance (ODA) and other sources for 96 projects, mainly in infrastructure building, said a provincial leader.

At a November 1 conference to call for ODA, Nguyen Van Binh, Vice Chairman of the Lang Son People’s Committee, said the province is in need of 29.6 trillion VND (1.3 trillion USD), accounting for 25-28 percent of its total investment.

As a locality with low and unsustainable economic growth, slow economic change, poor infrastructure and education as well as inadequate healthcare development, Lang Son has given priority to the construction of modern infrastructure, especially major projects in the Dong Dang-Lang Son border gate economic zone, he said.

The province will focus on developing a trans-provincial road system and roads connecting its districts, and upgrading water drainage and waste treatment systems.

Education and healthcare infrastructure in poor districts will also be improved, while human resources development and the modernisation of administrative agencies in districts will also be supported, bettering the investment environment.

According to the provincial People’s Committee, ODA has been allocated in the province since 1995. To date, the locality has received 3 trillion VND (1.42 trillion USD), with 80 percent of which being ODA. Notably, it has implemented a 33 billion VND forestation project funded by the German Government.

So far, 37 out of 44 ODA projects worth 1.6 trillion VND in total have been completed. An the remaining seven capitalised at 1.4 trillion VND, are underway, focusing on transport, agricultural and rural development, healthcare and education.

Major ODA providers to Lang Son include the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the Finnish Government, and the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOIKA), among others.

During the conference, the province inked a memorandum of understanding with KOIKA and Shinhan Bank of the Republic of Korea on cooperation in building local schools.-VNA