The Hanoitimes - The Viet Nam poverty rate, measured by the international standard, has decreased from 58% in 1993 to 14% in 2008. By 2012, the national poverty rate was estimated at 11.1%.
The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a $150 million loan to help improve economic connectivity and raise living standards in four of Viet Nam’s northeastern provinces by enhancing basic infrastructure and services. The assistance is expected to help over 212,000 people.
The Viet Nam poverty rate, measured by the international standard, has decreased from 58% in 1993 to 14% in 2008. By 2012, the national poverty rate was estimated at 11.1%. However, the development effect is uneven, especially in the rural and remote areas and among ethnic minorities (EM) groups. The North East subregion of Viet Nam in particular and the presents challenges in both income and non-income poverty for the population, especially among EM groups of whom 18.14% live below the government poverty line.
Ha Giang, one of provinces under the scope of the project.
The same sub-region has potential for development including tourism, forestry and mining industries, agribusiness crops, and export/logistics industries due to lying in close proximity to the border area with China. The project will improve the socio-economic conditions in the four north eastern provinces (FNEP) of Bac Kan, Cao Bang, Ha Giang, and Lang Son. It will enhance FNEP physical connectivity by developing critical transport infrastructure, leading to increased movement of people, agricultural products, and other goods. It will support sustainable market oriented safe agricultural and rural production. It will strengthen the FNEP institutional capacity for investment planning, and project design and management - from a regional integration perspective. The result will be expanded economic opportunities that will generate incomes of the local population including EM.
The project aims to contribute to implementation of poverty reduction and inclusive growth in the FNEP, in line with the Government’s SEDP 2011 – 2015 linking poverty reduction with promoting growth and development, considering poverty reduction not as just a goal but an engine for development and the Master plan for Social-Economic Development in FNEP. The project support will contribute to achieving ADB’s CPS 2011-2015 targets on promoting inclusive growth with the support to disadvantaged provinces and communities in the FNEP as part of mountainous regions.
“Viet Nam has been experiencing remarkable growth over the last few years. However, the majority of economic gains have accrued in the urban areas, with rural areas, including provinces in the northeast, lagging behind,” said Eric Sidgwick, ADB’s Country Director for Viet Nam. “We are confident the project will help realize the great growth and development potential of the northeastern part of Viet Nam, particularly in trade, agriculture, and tourism.” The Basic Infrastructure for Inclusive Growth in the Northeastern Provinces Sector Project will help unlock the binding constraints through the development of basic infrastructure across key sectors including trade, transport, health, and agriculture.
Specifically, the project will improve road connectivity among the provinces by upgrading about 121 kilometers (km) of provincial and 144 km of district roads, provide rural water supply, benefiting 42,300 people, and improve agriculture value chain infrastructure in Lang Son province through farm-to-market connectivity and support to local businesses. It will also strengthen the capacity of the provincial governments, particularly on public asset management. Total cost of the project is $195.9 million, with the Government of Viet Nam contributing $45.9 million. The project is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2023.