World Bank Supports Effort to Improve Living Standards of Millions of Vietnamese

March 29, 2011

WASHINGTON, March 29, 2011 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today one loan and three credits totaling US$570 million in support of Vietnam’s development efforts. The money will be used to finance four operations, namely Hospital Waste Management Support Project (US$ 150 million), Hai Phong Urban Transport Project (US$ 175 million), and Additional Financing for the Second Transmission and Distribution Project (US$ 180 million) and Coastal Cities Environmental Sanitation Project (US$ 65 million).

"Vietnam’s 10 year Socio Economic Development Strategy 2011-2020, recognizes that the country faces huge infrastructure gap and constraints to environmental sustainability.” said Victoria Kwakwa, Country Director for the World Bank in Vietnam. “The loan and credits approved today are expected to help with necessary infrastructure development, provide support to Government to modernize its approach to infrastructure development and management, and addressing important environmental challenges.”

The approvals by the Board today include a loan of US$180 million from the IBRD, the World Bank’s lending arm for middle income country, to scale up and reinforce Vietnam’s electricity transmission system. The operation is a continuation of the Second Transmission and Distribution Project, to support efficient development of Vietnam’s transmission and distribution system.

Meeting Vietnam’s investment needs for generation, transmission and distribution, requires about US$26 billion between 2011 and 2015, or about US$5 billion per year. Moving forward, the main challenge for the sector remains the need to continue to satisfy the growing demand with acceptable quality of electricity supplies in as commercially and financially efficient a way as possible and in an environmentally sustainable manner.

The three credits are provided by the International Development Association (IDA) – the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries.

A sum of US$ 65 million as additional financing for the Coastal Cities Environmental Sanitation Project will provide better sanitations for over 600,000 people in the coastal cities of Dong Hoi, Quy Nhon and Nha Trang. The investment will improve overall quality of life and ensure the sustainability of the tourism economic base of these cities. The project is expected to achieve these goals through improved drainage, wastewater collection and treatment, solid waste management, small loans for household sanitation improvements and capacity building initiatives including Healthy City Partnerships.

The goal of the Hai Phong Urban Transport Project is to improve urban accessibility and strengthen capacity for urban transport management and planning in Hai Phong City. The project is expected to reduce travel time for local road users in arterial corridors, and increase the reliability and frequency of bus services. IDA will invest US$ 175 million in this project.

And finally, the successful implementation of the Hospital Waste Management Support Project will strengthen health care waste management policies nationwide and support at least 150 central and provincial hospitals in providing better environment for their communities as well as improved infection control and occupational safety to patients, doctors and health workers.  IDA will fund US$ 150 million for this project.

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