The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will lend Vietnam US$165 million in two packages to build new schools and improve rural infrastructure under two agreements it signed Friday with the country’s central bank.
The loan deals were inked by Nguyen Van Binh, Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), and ADB Vietnam country director Tomoyuki Kimura, according to the development bank.
The first loan, worth $80 million, is earmarked for the second phase of the Secondary Education Sector Development Program, an ADB-funded project helping improve education in the most disadvantaged areas in Vietnam.
The project aims at building 660 classrooms, 350 boarding facilities, and 250 houses for teachers; training around 24,000 teachers; and constructing 344 new schools in the country’s poverty-hit localities.
The second loan will provide an additional investment of $85 million for the Integrated Rural Development Sector Project in the Central Provinces project.
The $168.17 million program, approved in October 2007, has been designed to improve the livelihoods of the rural population of 13 provinces in the central region of Vietnam by increasing access to markets, agricultural inputs, and public services such as health and education; increasing employment opportunities; and reducing vulnerability to natural disasters.
“This will be achieved through the rehabilitation and upgrading of specific items of medium-scale rural infrastructure which have deteriorated over past decades due to war, natural disasters, and severe budgetary constraints that have limited their maintenance,” the ADB said in a project report obtained by Tuoi Tre News.
The ADB had previously supplied $90 million to the first phase of the program.
The $85 million funding will be allocated to its implementation in Binh Dinh, Binh Thuan, Ha Tinh, Ninh Thuan, Phu Yen, and Thua Thien-Hue in four years.
Infrastructure to be improved will include rural roads, irrigation drainage and flood control schemes, rural markets, domestic water supply schemes, special coastal works such as sand dune stabilization, salinity intrusion prevention, and mangrove rehabilitation, according to the development bank.
The ADB was founded in 1996 and has since dedicated itself to improving people’s lives in Asia and the Pacific, according to its website.
Vietnam is one of the founding members of the development bank. ADB assistance in Vietnam amounted to $12.85 billion from 1993, when it resumed operations in the Southeast Asian country, to December 2013, according to an ADB fact sheet.
The assistance includes 150 loans totaling $12.43 billion, 276 technical assistance projects amounting to $253.5 million, and 29 grants worth $170 million.
The sectors with the largest share of cumulative lending amounts are transport and communications (33.3 percent), energy (18.2 percent), and agriculture and natural resources (13.5 percent).