Four Vietnamese cities see big upgrades in poor neighborhoods
A ten-year effort to upgrade the infrastructure of 200 poor neighborhoods in four Vietnamese cities has elevated the living standards of 7.5 million urban residents. That’s the conclusion of the World Bank, the main sponsor of the Vietnam Urban Upgrading Project, which contributed $382 million to the effort. The government of Vietnam added $140 million.
Spanning from 2004 to 2014, the initiative focused on Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Nam Dinh and Can Tho. Homes were connected to water and electricity lines, garbage pickup was introduced and roads were paved. Flood prevention and drainage were improved. Renovations were made to schools, health clinics, community centers and even canals.
Another key component involved microloans designed to help locals launch and expand small businesses. The repayment rate is nearly 100 percent for the 95,000 modest loans that were issued, the article says. Some of those loans totaled just $250.