The leaders of central Quang Tri province met representatives from Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the EU on June 3 to discuss enhancing cooperation between the province and the two donors.

The fields they focused on included transport, water supplies, poverty reduction, dealing with natural disasters, clearing unexploded ordnance and supporting businesses.

The meetings took place on the eve of the mid-term meeting of the Consultative Group, scheduled for June 4-5 in Quang Tri province.

Since 1996, Japan has funded 30 projects in Quang Tri worth a total 23 million USD, or 10 percent of the province’s official development assistance.

In addition, Japan has also provided humanitarian aid to Quang Tri and helped it to carry out projects funded by non-governmental organisations.

Two Japanese funded ODA projects worth 3.6 million USD are currently underway in the province.

Most completed projects were found to be worthwhile and effective.

At the meeting, Quang Tri’s leaders said they are keen to work with the JICA, using its small-scale infrastructure development credit programme to improve roads and build new facilities to provide clean water in Hai Lang and Vinh Linh districts.

The province expects to work with the EU to reduce poverty, guard against climate changes, deal with natural disasters, mine clearance, decontaminate area polluted with Agent Orange/dioxin and support businesses.

In recent years, Quang Tri province has made full use of projects funded by foreign organisations and governments to carry out its socio-economic development tasks.

A project dealing with unexploded ordnance and the effects of war carried out in Dakrong, Trieu Phong, Hai Lang and Cam Lo districts with funding coming from the Norwegian People’s Aid, Humpty Institute, Tromsoe Mine Victim Resource Centre and Support Vietnam project.

The 5 million USD programme, which started in 2001, has helped to reduce the number of accidents due to bombs and mines from 59 in 2001 to just 10 in 2010.

It has provided operations and artificial limbs for 480 victims of unexploded ordnance and disabled people.

In poverty reduction, the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) provided nearly 13.5 million USD for the Share project to help poor households in Gio Linh and Vinh Linh districts.

The success of its foreign funded projects is expected to encourage more assistance from foreign donors to help boost socio-economic development in the province.-VNA