The Ministry of Construction and the World Bank on Jan 17 held a meeting to discuss a US$600 million project to upgrade six urban areas in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region.
The project involves upgrading the water supply and sewerage systems in Can Tho, My Tho, Ca Mau, Tra Vinh, Cao Lanh and Rach Gia.
"The programme is part of the national urban area upgrade strategy that runs until 2020", pointed out Do Tu Lan, deputy head of the ministry's Urban Development Department.
The World Bank provides 65 per cent of the project's investment, worth $390 million. The Vietnamese Government covers the remaining 35 per cent.
It is estimated that the project will directly benefit 142,000 people and indirectly boost the living conditions of a further 1.4 million.
In addition, loans worth VND20-30 million ($952-1,428) will be made available to 12,000 households to renovate their homes.
Investment in upgrading roads and sewerage systems will be given priority.
About $112.7 million has been earmarked for projects to improve Can Tho City's irrigation system, clean up Bung Xang Lake, dredge Ngong and Nhieu cannals and renovate a number of roads in Ninh Kieu District.
Loans totalling VND73 billion ($3.4 million) will be made available to 3,000 families to upgrade their houses.
The ministry and World Bank officials plan to meet again in June and September and approve the programme in December. It is expected that the project will be implemented early next year.
The wider national infrastructure upgrade progamme was launched in 2007 in HCM City, northern Nam Dinh Province, Hai Phong and Can Tho. About 2.2 million people in the four localities have so far benefited from the programme.