World Bank approves US$ 350 million for Vietnam's infrastructure

By Richard High07 July 2009

The World Bank has approved US$ 350 million in credit for Vietnam's Local Development Investment Funds Project and the Additional Financing for the Urban Upgrading Project.

The funding will come from the World Bank's International Development Association, its concessional lending arm.

The Local Development Investment Funds Project (LDIFP), which aims to increase the amount of private funding in infrastructure projects, and strengthen the financial, technical, social and environmental safeguards management capability of the Funds, will receive US$ 190 million.

The Urban Upgrading Project will receive an additional US$ 160 million to cover a financing gap for projects in Can Tho, Hai Phong, Nam Dinh and Ho Chi Minh City resulting from high levels of inflation in 2007-08.

The financing in Ho Chi Minh City will help improve the Tan Hoa - Lo Gom Canal - one of the city's poorest areas

Commenting on LDIFP, Dang Duc Cuong, the project co - task team leader, said, "The demand for municipal infrastructure in Vietnam has increased rapidly as the country copes with rapid urbanization, decentralization and high rates of economic growth.

"This project, built on success of the model currently utilized in the Ho Chi Minh City Investment Fund for Urban Development (HIFU) Development Project (HDP), will develop infrastructure finance models that involve local institutions and leverage private capital".

In a statement on the Urban Upgrading Project funding, Dean A. Cira, urban sector coordinator for the World Bank in Vietnam, said, "The urban upgrading project has been improving the living conditions of many cities in Vietnam, such as Can Tho, Hai Phong, Nam Dinh and Hồ Chí Minh City, benefiting about 2 million poor people in these cities.

"Through this additional financing, we hope that another 1 million poor people in Tan Hoa - Lo Gom canal area in Hồ Chí Minh City will benefit from better living conditions and environment."

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