The Ministry of Construction and the World Bank (WB) launched a results-based national urban development programme in the northern mountainous region on September 30.

The programme will be carried out from 2015-2021, costing 250 million USD and funded by a loan from the WB’s International Development Association.

The objective of the project is to improve urban infrastructure, protect the environment, and enhance local residents’ livelihoods in a bid to ensure sustainable socio-economic development in the cities and townships of the northern mountainous provinces of Bac Kan, Cao Bang, Dien Bien, Hoa Binh, Thai Nguyen, Tuyen Quang, and Yen Bai.

The programme will strengthen local authorities’ capacity for urban planning and management, while helping ministries develop policy frameworks.

Minister of Construction Trinh Dinh Dung said investment was needed not only in big cities, but also in small ones, particularly in disadvantaged areas such as the northern mountainous region.

He added that the development of infrastructure in mountainous urban areas would release traffic, health care and education pressures on central cities, thus creating a more harmonious urban system.-VNA