EU-funded project to boost urban infrastructure’s climate resilience

An EU and French-funded project was launched on May 27 to improve the climate resilience of urban infrastructure in four northern central provinces of Vietnam.

The project is financed with EUR5 million (over US$5.3 million) in non-refundable aid from the EU, EUR123 million in ODA loan from the French Development Agency (AFD), and EUR28 million from the Vietnamese Government.

It aims to reduce the vulnerability to natural disasters in five urban areas, namely Phat Diem township (Ninh Binh province), Ngoc Lac township (Thanh Hoa province), Hoang Mai town (Nghe An province), and Huong Khe and Thach Ha townships (Ha Tinh province).

Under this project, necessary urban infrastructure facilities will be built to serve water drainage, ease flooding, and improve environmental hygiene, clean water supply, and solid waste treatment. Technical assistance will also be provided to help the localities enhance the project’s sustainability by boosting their capacity to operate and maintain wastewater treatment stations and other utilities.

Addressing the launch, Ambassador Giorgio Aliberti, head of the EU Delegation to Vietnam, said over the past years, many areas in the country’s central region have been hit hard by storms and flooding, leading to heavy human and property losses in both rural and urban areas. When urban areas are still expanding, adapting to climate change has become essential to guarantee the sustainability of this development process.

Implemented by local authorities, activities in this project will improve the sustainability by building the coordination and communication capacity, developing the information and risk management system, and supporting operation and maintenance activities, which are in line with the EU’s priorities on urban sustainability, according to the diplomat.

AFD Director in Vietnam Hervé Conan noted the project matches the AFD’s strategy in the country, which is to help implement the Paris Agreement on climate change and Vietnam’s commitments made at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).

The combination of an AFD loan with the EU’s non-refundable aid is a big advantage for the success of this project as well as for the sustainability of urban infrastructure, he added.