European Union and France join hands to strengthen urban climate resilience in North Central Vietnam

Friday, 27/05/2022 19:23
(CPV) - The Vietnamese government, four provinces in North-Central-Coast of Vietnam, the European Union (EU) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) on May 27 held a ceremony to launch the technical assistance component to the “Climate-resilient urban infrastructure project in four North-Central-Coast provinces in Vietnam” (CRUIV).

France supports Vietnamese cities increase resilience to climate change

The project aims to decrease the vulnerability to climate hazards in five regional towns.

The launching event, attended by Mr. Nicolas Warnery, Ambassador of France to Vietnam and Mr Giorgio Aliberti, Ambassador of the European Union Delegation to Vietnam, marks the commencement of close cooperation between the project partners to not only ensure successful project implementation but also to strengthen sustainability for operations, and the capacity for responding to climate change in the local authorities.

At the launching event

Jointly co-financed with a EUR5 million grant from the European Union (EU), a EUR123 million ODA loan from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and EUR28 million from provincial budgets, the CRUIV project will provide benefits to five regional towns in north-central Vietnam, including Phat Diem in Ninh Binh province, Ngoc Lac in Thanh Hoa province, Hoang Mai in Nghe An province, Huong Khe and Thach Ha in Ha Tinh province. The principal goal is to increase resilience with respect to the impacts of natural disasters and the increasing influence of climate change.

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.

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.

EU Ambassador to Vietnam, Giorgio Aliberti, said “In recent years many parts of central Vietnam have been severely impacted by floods and storms, causing loss of life, and considerable hardship in rural communities and regional towns. 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, so too will the capacity building. 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.”

Herve Conan, AFD Director in Vietnam added “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.”