Vietnam’s Infrastructure, Agriculture sectors to benefit from The World Bank’s support

March 22, 2012

The support is provided in line with the WB’s new Country Partnership Strategy for 2012-2016

Washington DC, March 22, 2012 – The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a total of US$ 522 million in credits and loans for the development of Vietnam’s urban, energy, and forest sectors.

The three operations approved include the Mekong Delta Region Urban Upgrading Project, the Second Power Sector Reform Development Policy Operation, and the Forest Sector Development Project - Additional Financing.  All three projects support the World Bank’s new Country Partnership Strategy (2011-2016) for Vietnam.

“The approval of the three operations demonstrates the continued strong partnership between Vietnam and the World Bank. They address emerging challenges such as rapid urbanization, the need for an efficient power sector to meet Vietnam's rapidly growing demand for power to support rapid growth, and the importance of sustainable management of Vietnam's forest resources to help move rural communities out of poverty," said Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam.

The Mekong Delta Region Urban Upgrading Project will improve infrastructure and services for more than 1.5 million people in six cities in the Mekong Delta Region, namely Can Tho, My Tho, Cao Lanh, Ca Mau, Rach Gia, and Tra Vinh. An estimated 275,900 people living in low income areas of these cities will directly benefit from improved infrastructure such as roads, drainage, canals, water supply and sanitation, public facilities, and power supply based on the communities’ expressed priorities.  The International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s resource for low income countries, will finance US$292 million for this project.

The Second Power Sector Reform Development Policy Operation of a series of three policy operations that support the Government in implementing reforms in the power sector to facilitate and promote effective competition in power generation, transparency and predictability in electricity pricing and tariffs; to encourage investment in power generation; and to implement programs and incentives for efficient use of electricity.The program is organized around four key policy areas, which are the development of a competitive power market, power sector restructuring, electricity tariff reform, and improving demand side energy efficiency.  For this operation, the World Bank provides US$ 200 million, half of which comes from IDA, and the other half from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) – the Bank’s lending arm for middle income countries.

The Forest Sector Development Project aims to promote sustainable smallholder plantation forestry to help raised rural incomes and to support biodiversity conservation across Vietnam’s priority conservation areas. The Project supports the National Forestry Strategy through restoring and increasing forest cover, promoting market-based approaches to forestry, increasing roles and responsibilities of local forest owners, and strengthening protected areas management and conserving biodiversity with the involvement of local communities. Under the Additional Financing operation, IDA will provide an additional US$ 30 million over three years to the project covering 6 six provinces in the central coastal region of Vietnam.

Since 1993, the World Bank has provided nearly US$ 15 billion in credits, loans and grants to help the country sustain growth and reduce poverty.