The Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh on January 13 launched a project worth 518 billion VND (24.7 million USD) to improve locals’ resilience to climate change.

The project has been given 231 billion VND (11 million USD) in low-interest loans and 126 billion VND (6 million USD) in non-refundable aid by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

From 2014 to 2020, it will be implemented in 30 communes of seven districts of Tra Vinh to build climate change adaptation facilities, 16 automatic salinity monitoring stations, agricultural and aquatic production models with high economic viability, and small-scale financial organisations to provide capital for the poor.

The project is expected to benefit 62,500 low-income people.

Tra Vinh is among the localities most vulnerable to rising sea levels and salt intrusion in Vietnam. If the sea level rises by one metre, about 45.7 percent of Tra Vinh’s land area will be flooded.

In the last five years, seawater has surged 500 – 800 metres inland and eroded more than 120 hectares of land in Hiep Thanh commune, Duyen Hai district.

The United Nations’ IFAD has financed Vietnam since 1991 with low-interest 40-50 year loans that have been channelled to farmers, fishermen, disadvantaged women and ethnic communities.-VNA