Vietnam is going through a far-reaching transformation from an inward-looking planned economy to one that is globalized and market-based. The Bank’s partnership with Vietnam since 1993 has contributed to achieving notable results.
As of December 31, 2012, the Bank's portfolio in Vietnam consisted of 51 IDA/IBRD active operations, 4 stand-alone Global Environment Facility and Carbon Finance Operations and large Recipient Executed Trust Fund. Total net commitments are US$ 8,358 million, of which US$ 8,276.5 million are IDA/IBRD. The portfolio concentrates on infrastructure, including transportation and urban development, rural development, energy, water resources management, public administration reforms, finance, education, health and social services, and environment.
Vietnam received the first loan from the IBRD, the Bank’s lending arm for middle-income and poorer creditworthy countries, in 2009, which supported a program of public investment reforms. It marked a closer step of the country to reach the lower middle-income status in the following year.
Access to rural credit services has improved significantly. Over the past decade, a growing number of rural households gained access to credit—for farming and small business activities—for the first time. The Bank’s First and Second Vietnam Rural Finance projects contributed to this trend as well as to the strengthening of several rural financial institutions. The second project financed more than 400,000 sub-projects, leveraging total investments equivalent to US$740 million and generating new sources of employment. (See video and story)
Water supply and sanitation facilities have expanded. Urban water supply has doubled in small towns to 60% between 2006 and 2009 and is up from 75% to 95% in cities for the same period. Rural access to clean water has seen an increase from 36% to 70% between 1999 and 2009. The World Bank has helped to support this development through investments in rural water and sanitation in the Red River Delta Region and through innovative programs such as the Global Output-Based Aid funded project in partnership with the East Meets West Foundation.
About 80% of urban households have sanitation but currently most use septic tanks and very little waste is treated. The World Bank is supporting the development of sanitation systems in several cities, including financing some of the country's first wastewater treatment plants, including in coastal cities such as in the World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay (watch the video), and the important urban centers of Da Nang and Hai Phong. Urban sanitation remains a priority area for support in the urban sector.
Electricity now reaches 95% of the population. Every day for the past ten years, 9,000 people have been connected to the grid for the first time in Vietnam. The country doubled its power generation capacity from 12,000 MW in 2005 to 25,000 MW in 2010. Under the Second Rural Energy Project, over 2.7 million people in some of the poorest parts of Vietnam gained access to electricity as 555,327 households were connected to the national grid. (Watch the video)
Over 90% of the population is now connected by all-weather roads. Working in 33 provinces, the Third Rural Transport project is reaching some of the most difficult mountainous regions of Northern Vietnam, linking poor and marginalized communities to better markets and services. Averaging 4.5% of GDP investment, Vietnam is the leading investor in Asia in its roads infrastructure to make space for the economy to grow, allow cities to move, and lift the remaining population out of poverty. (Watch the video)
95% of motorcycle riders now wear a helmet. With 6.5 fatalities per 10,000 vehicles/year, over six times those in Japan, accidents on Vietnam’s roads are a major contributing factor to a national injury crisis. Addressing one of the highest accident rates in the world, the Vietnam Road Safety Project is working to bring health, education, police, and highway agencies together to save lives.
Improving living standards in remote mountainous areas. Under the first Northern Mountains Poverty Reduction Project, 353,871 households have benefitted from improved health care, and over 118,000 households have access to clean water, significantly improving the health of local people. A follow-on project will build on these earlier gains plus strengthen community disaster risk preparedness and pilot market linkage service initiatives.
Primary education doubled and more disadvantaged children were enrolled. The proportion of primary students in full day programs doubled from 25% in 2005 to 50% nationwide. Children in disadvantaged districts increased enrollment to 94% (compared to 97% nationally) while girls enrollment in secondary school now exceeds boys at 78% to 77%.
Women rights to land titles increased. Following the success of two World Bank-supported pilot projects in the early 2000s, the government passed a Land Law making it mandatory for all land titles to be issued jointly in the names of husbands and wives (watch the video). The Bank-supported Vietnam Land Administration Project aims to issue some 5 million (jointly held) land titles by 2013.