The Ministry of Construction and the World Bank launched a 398 million USD project to upgrade urban areas in the Mekong Delta region, in Can Tho City on June 25.

Of the total capital, the World Bank has provided 292 million USD in loan with the remainder coming from the Vietnamese government.

The project is part of the National Urban Upgrading Programme until 2020, which aims to improve standards of living for poor residents in urban areas, while boosting sustainable development in the Mekong Delta.

The infrastructure in six Mekong Delta cities will be targeted, including My Tho in Tien Giang province, Ca Mau in Ca Mau province, Tra Vinh in Tra Vinh province, Cao Lanh in Dong Thap province, Rach Gia in Kien Giang province and Can Tho City.

The project will last until 2017 with the first phase due to get underway in August 2012 and run till January 2014.

Once completed, it will directly benefit about 276,000 poor people in the region and indirectly benefit nearly 1.6 million others from the upgrading of transport, housing and environmental sanitation services.-VNA