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AFD, EU strengthen urban climate resilience in Vietnam
Phi Khanh 17:12, 2022/05/27
The AFD and EU have been actively supporting Vietnam in the areas of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Vietnam will receive financial aid from the EU and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) to reduce the vulnerability to climate hazards in several towns in four northern and central provinces.

The project is jointly co-financed with a EUR5 million (US$5.36 million) grant from the EU, a EUR123 million ($132 million) ODA loan from the AFD, and EUR 28 million ($30 million) from provincial budgets. The principal goal is to help localities adapt to climate change and recover from natural disasters such as flooding, typhoons, and drought. 

 Delegates attend the launching ceremony. Photo: the Embassy of France in Vietnam

The regional towns include Phat Diem in the northern province of Ninh Binh, Ngoc Lac in the central province of Thanh Hoa, and Hoang Mai in the central province of Nghe An, Huong Khe, and Thach Ha in the central province of Ha Tinh.

Speaking at the launching ceremony of the Technical Assistance Component, which is part of the “Climate-Resilient Urban Infrastructure Project in Four North-Central-Coast Provinces in Vietnam” (CRUIV) project held in Hanoi on May 27, EU Ambassador to Vietnam Giorgio Aliberti said many parts of central Vietnam have been severely impacted by floods and storms in recent years, causing loss of life, and considerable hardship in rural communities and regional towns.

He said as the cities and towns continue to expand, adaptation to climate change is crucial for sustainability. While the investment in new urban infrastructure under the CRUIV project will be key to boosting resilience and building capacity. 

“By engaging with local administrations, the activities of the project will improve long-term sustainability by enhancing the capacity for coordination and communication, developing information and risk management systems, and supporting operations and maintenance. This is fully in line with EU’s global priorities on sustainable cities,” he said. 

The investment component of the CRUIV Project will provide much-needed urban infrastructure for drainage, flood protection, sanitation, water supply, and solid waste. Coupled with this, the technical assistance component will support sustainability by providing the capacity building and institutional strengthening required for the ongoing operations and maintenance of the wastewater treatment plans and other facilities. 

Additionally, the capacity building will improve the level of understanding of potential climate change impacts in these regional centers, and provide to the local authorities the training, tools, and guidance on how to respond with investment planning and urban management. 

Herve Conan, the AFD Director in Vietnam, said this project aligns with AFD's strategy in Vietnam, which aims to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement generally, in particular by building resilience in vulnerable cities and territories, and to support Vietnam's commitments made at COP26. The combination of the AFD loan with the EU grant is a key asset for the success of the project and the sustainability of the urban infrastructure.

He said as a country potentially among the most impacted by climate change, addressing issues for adaptation and mitigation are clear priorities for the government of Vietnam. Although the government of Vietnam already allocates substantial resources to climate change response, the challenges are massive and international support, such as that from the Government of France and the EU Delegation, is absolutely vital. 

In the urban sector, the challenges of climate change combine with those of rapid growth. Across Vietnam, the urban population is expected to increase from 37 million people in 2020 to 47 million by 2030 and since access to basic services, such as sanitation, drainage, and quality of water, remains low in regional towns, there is an urgent need to fund improvements. 

In addition to investing in infrastructure, there is an imperative to strengthen capacity in project management, urban infrastructure operations, and urban management for climate resilience. 

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