The World Bank is funding a rural development project to help the Mekong Delta of Vietnam improve its climate change resilience.


A WB delegation introduced the 300-million-USD project to officials of An Giang province at a working session on December 3.

According to the project head Anjali Acharya, the scheme aims to find inter-sectoral and regional solutions to improve livelihood for locals in different areas.

It will support the delta in building an information system and enhancing institutional capacity in dealing with climate change, she said.

Climate change has caused economic losses estimated at 1.5 trillion VND ( 71.4 million USD) over the past five years to An Giang, according to Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Area Do Vu Hung.

Local authorities are focusing on programmes to restructure agriculture, develop subsidiary food crops, aquatic production, and animal husbandry, and conserve protective forest, he added.

Comprising 12 provinces and one centrally-run city, the Mekong Delta plays an important role in the nation’s economic growth. However, the region is vulnerable to climate change impacts such as rising sea level and saltwater intrusion.

Scientists predict that a one-metre rise in sea level could result in 70 percent of the Mekong Delta being affected by saltwater intrusion. As a result, Vietnam would lose two million hectares of farmland, and many coastal localities would be submerged under water.