CẦN THƠ — World Bank, an important development partner of Việt Nam, is committed to support the Việt Nam in implementing the newly unveiled Mekong Delta Regional Master Plan.
Carolyn Turk, Country Director for the World Bank in Việt Nam, made the statement at the Conference on Promulgation of the Mekong Delta Regional Master Plan and Investment Promotion for the Period 2021-30 opened Tuesday in Cần Thơ City.
Congratulating the Vietnamese Government on this first-ever regional master plan, she noted that it demonstrated the whole-of-government approach and a strong commitment to promoting sustainable development and enhancing the climate resilience of the Mekong Delta.
The planning highlighted the new mindset and new vision for the region considered a global hotspot for climate change, the World Bank official said, adding that many estimates suggest increasing climate impacts may, in a year, cost the region up to US$70 million in the rainy season due to flooding and up to $1.7 billion USD in the dry season due to drought and salinisation.
She said that from a vision and planning into implementation was always a challenge, and there were already some observable trends that would need to be addressed to spearhead the transformation of the Delta’s economy.
“For example, while the Mekong Delta region has made a stellar contribution to the economy of Việt Nam in the past, it is now the only region in the country where the share of districts with poverty rates above the national average increased from 2015 to 2019. This has been further compounded as we know by the dual crisis of droughts in 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The region had also witnessed out-migration over the last years due to climate change, especially with migrants from the region accounting for about 37 per cent of all migrants in the country in 2020, she added.
Carolyn said the long-term COVID-19 pandemic impacts, global economic turbulence, and market uncertainty all made it an exceptional challenge for the region to achieve its ambitious goals and targets set in the master plan and contribute to Việt Nam’s goal of reaching high-income status by 2045.
She urged the Government to be focusing on efficiency and effectiveness, with a strategic and implementable Action Programme to accompany the Regional Master Plan, given the estimated financing needs of at least $57 billion between now and 2030 for the plan’s investment.
“I am also pleased to see a strong emphasis on private sector engagement and I strongly encourage you to put in place the necessary enabling regulatory framework and institutional mechanisms for scaling up private finance,” the World Bank official noted.
There is also a need for clear guidance and “consensus of roles and responsibilities of all key stakeholders, and a strong engagement and collaboration across relevant sectors and across levels of administration.”
The master should also be a “living document” that is adaptive and flexible during its implementation, with proper feedback mechanism to allow for continuous reflection, assessment, updating, and revision, Carolyn said, adding that a robust monitoring and evaluation framework is also needed to record and assess the progress being made and ensure quality of implementation.
The World Bank said it would continue to support Việt Nam as the master plan comes into implementation after having contributed to the formulation of the Mekong Delta Regional Plan, especially in providing underpinnings for the development of the master plan, policy development and strengthening regional coordination.
“We are committed to bringing our global knowledge, convening power and financing to work in partnership with the whole-of-government, development partners, private sector, and other key stakeholders to achieve sustainable, climate resilient and inclusive growth for the Mekong Delta,” she said.
The institution had already commenced the preparation of an integrated programme to operationalise the Regional Master Plan – enhancing the resilience of Mekong Delta’s people, livelihoods and assets, and improving regional productivity and competitiveness in the face of increasing climate and development challenges compounded by COVID-19 impacts, the World Bank director said. —
Northern Vietnamese provinces seek approval for construction of airports
Authorities in Lai Chau and Son La Provinces, northern Vietnam are seeking the prime minister’s approval for the construction of airports there.
In a document sent to PM Pham Minh Chinh, the Lai Chau People’s Committee mentioned its plan to build Lai Chau Airport, which is designed to cover 167 hectares and have the capacity of 500,000 passengers per year, in Tan Uyen Town during the 2022-30 period.
The administration stressed that the project plays an important role in promoting the province’s socio-economic development as well as contributes to ensuring national defense and security in border areas.
The province has carried out necessary land use planning and site clearance to attract the interest of investors in the project.
Some investors are mulling over implementing the project under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.
PPP involves a contract between a public sector authority and a private party, in which the private party provides a public service or project and assumes financial, technical, and operational risk in the project.
In order to ensure the legal basis and favorable conditions for the construction of the airport, the Lai Chau People’s Committee requested the prime minister to give the green light to the project and authorize the administration to initiate it.
The Son La People’s Committee has also submitted a document to the premier to seek approval for the construction of Na San Airport under the PPP model.
The airdrome is expected to have the capacity of one million passengers by 2030.
The provincial administration previously coordinated with relevant sectors to study the possibility of building the airport with the state budget or capital of the Airports Corporation of Vietnam, but both options were deemed to be very challenging.
The province thus considered using resources from the private sector.
In May 2021, Him Lam JSC suggested a plan to build the airdrome under the PPP model.
During the first phase, Na San Airport is expected to handle up to one million passengers and 350 metric tons of cargo a year, with the cost of the construction estimated at VND2.56 trillion (US$109.4 million).
In the second phase, an expansion costing VND468 billion ($20 million) will be carried out, and the airport capacity will increase to two million passengers a year.
The construction of Na Sa Airport is expected to run from the third quarter of 2023 to the fourth quarter of 2025.
Low-cost meals for the underprivileged in Ho Chi Minh City
Budget eateries offering each meal at a mere VND1,000 (US$0.04), VND5,000 ($21), or for free in Ho Chi Minh City are warming the hearts of low-income workers and disadvantaged people amid surging goods prices.
Situated at 317 Trung My Tay 13 Street in District 12, Ho Chi Minh City, the eatery run by Tran Thi Dung and her husband serves offal porridge for disabled and elderly people and lottery ticket vendors.
Tran Thi Dung recounted that three years ago, her husband was severely injured in a traffic accident so she took him to their hometown for care and treatment.
When he was in good health again, they returned to the city to do business.
The couple decided to open a low-cost eatery as a way to lend a helping hand to the underprivileged.
“We charge no money to customers who are disabled and sell lottery tickets, but some still pay VND5,000 for their meal as they don’t want to be indebted to anyone.
“Receiving their thanks for our acts makes me happy and indefatigable.”
Another charity venue at 61 Nguyen Chi Thanh Street in District 11 is serving vegetarian dishes at VND5,000 each.
The eatery owned by Tran Phuoc Hoa is a popular haunt of the disadvantaged people in the city.
Sometimes, philanthropists give financial support to the eatery, so it not only charges no money to poor people but also launches a ‘Buy One Get One Free’ program.
“I opened the vegan eatery in 2013 with an aim to share the hardship with the poor and encourage them to choose a vegan lifestyle,” Hoa said.
“High- or medium-income customers can pay the same price for their meal, while dishes are given to the poor free of charge.”
He strongly believed that he would receive luck and happiness in return for his kindness.
Nguyen Van Phuoc, who resides in Binh Tan District and has worked as a motorbike taxi driver for 30 years, said, “I have been a loyal customer of the VND5,000 vegan eatery for a long time.
“Dishes are changed every day.
“Having meals there helps me save a lot of money for supporting my family amid soaring prices.”
Sitting in Alley 221/10 on Phan Van Khoe Street in District 6, the VND1,000 porridge eatery called ‘Come Here,’ which is run by Thai Cong Minh and his wife, is also a charitable site for students and low-income laborers.
“I have sold porridge for 20 years,” Minh said.
“The eatery is open from 3:30 am to 8:00 pm each day.
“Each ladle of porridge costs VND1,000, while the prices of side dishes range from VND3,000 to VND5,000.
“The eatery mainly serves poor people and low-income workers such as lottery ticket sellers, so I will not spike the prices at this time to retain customers and partially support them amid this ‘price storm.’”
|Free or VND5,000 bowls of porridge warm the hearts of the disadvantaged in Ho Chi Minh City amid rising goods prices. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tien Phong|
|Tran Phuoc Hoa’s VND5,000 vegan eatery, which offers takeout, is a popular haunt of poor people in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Phuong/ Tien Phong|
|At budget eateries, customers with high or low income can pay the same price. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tien Phong|
|Nguyen Van Phuoc, who lives in Binh Tan District, Ho Chi Minh City and has worked as a motorbike taxi driver for 30 years, is one of the VND5,000 vegan eatery’s loyal customers. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tien Phong|
|The porridge eatery named ‘Come Here’ owned by Thai Cong Minh in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City charges VND1,000 per ladle amid the current ‘price storm.’ Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tien Phong|
|Apart from porridge as the main dish, Thai Cong Minh’s eatery also serves side dishes such as radish stir-fried with pickles and fish sauce, dried fish, Vietnamese caramelized fish sauce dip, and salted eggs. Photo: Ngoc Phuong/ Tien Phong|
Vietnam’s tank team competes in International Army Games in Russia
Vietnam competed in the qualifying round of the tank biathlon category within the framework of the International Army Games 2022 in Moskva, Russia on Saturday, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
This year’s tank biathlon event attracts the participation of 61 crews of 21 teams, divided into two groups.
The first group consists of teams from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Venezuela, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, China, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia, while the second is comprised of Abkhazia, Armenia, Zimbabwe, Iran, Laos, Mali, Myanmar, Syria, Sudan, Tajikistan, and South Ossetia.
Teams in Group 1 will compete in the qualifying round to select the top eight to enter the semi-final round and then the best four for the final round.
Meanwhile, those in Group 2 will only join a round-robin format.
Crew No.1 of the Vietnamese tank team completed their task on Saturday, destroying four targets out of five and finishing the race after 34 minutes 53 seconds.
Meanwhile, crews from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan annihilate all five targets and finished the race after 25 minutes 57 seconds, and 25 minutes and 18 seconds, respectively.
The Venezuelan rivals destroyed only one target and finished their competition after 47 minutes 5 seconds.
Crews No. 2 and 3 of the Vietnamese tank team will compete on August 16 and 20.
First held in 2015, the International Army Games are an annual Russian military sports event organized by the Ministry of Defense of Russia.
This year’s edition will run from August 13 to 27 at the military training grounds in twelve countries: Russia, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Venezuela, Vietnam, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, and Uzbekistan.
More than 260 teams from 35 countries join the 2022 Games.
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