ADB, Viet Nam government to improve education, infrastructure

Friday, Jan 23, 2015 17:42

A rural road in Binh Thuan Province. The province is one of  the selected ones to get financial support for the improvement and expansion of irrigation infrastructure. — Photo TTXVN
HA NOI (Biz Hub) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Viet Nam Government have signed two loan agreements worth US$165 million for improving lower secondary education for ethnic minorities in country's poorest regions.

The agreements, signed on January 23, will also provide additional financing for scaling up investments in rural infrastructure in the six selected provinces of the Central Region.

The Governor of the State Bank of Viet Nam Nguyen Van Binh and the Country Director for Viet Nam signed the agreement on behalf of ADB's Tomoyuki Kimura.

The first $80 million loan agreement will be allocated for the Second Lower Secondary Education for the Most Disadvantaged Areas Project, a continuation of the Lower Secondary Education for the Most Disadvantaged Regions, which was executed successfully by the end 2014.

The earlier project was the first large-scale project to support lower secondary education for the poor ethnic minorities in the northern mountainous region; the Central Highlands, the Mekong River Delta, as well as the typhoon affected coastal areas.

With an implementation period of 6 years and starting from early 2015, the Second Lower Secondary Education for the Most Disadvantaged Area Project will aim to improve the net enrollment rate for lower secondary education in the target areas by 5 per cent by 2020.

It will focus on the construction of 660 additional classrooms, 350 semi-boarding facilities, around 250 teacher housing units, and train some 24,000 teachers, as well as develop about 344 new school clusters.

The second loan of $85 million is meant for additional financing of the Integrated Rural Development Infrastructure Sector Project, which was approved by the ADB board in October 2007. ADB will also provide $90 million out of the total cost of $168.17 million.

The original project had targeted critical rural infrastructure in 13 provinces in the Central Region, including rural roads, irrigation drainage and flood control systems, rural markets, along with domestic water supply schemes and coastal works.

As of August 2014, the project had achieved its intended outcome, and contributed to meeting provincial infrastructure developments targets for boosting agricultural productivity and employment opportunities, improved access to public services, as well as reduced exposure of the rural population to natural disasters.

Despite these achievements, much work is needed to reduce infrastructure constraints for production, diversification, and economic growth. The additional financing will also support the improvement and expansion of irrigation infrastructure over four years in the six selected provinces of Binh Dinh, Binh Thuan, Ha Tinh, Ninh Thuan, as well as Phu Yen and Thua Thien-Hue, based on their strong performance during the initial project. —VNS

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