Fri. May 27th, 2022

Transnational drug trafficking ring busted in Quang Ninh

Quang Ninh police officials are expanding their investigation of a transnational drug trafficking ring illegally smuggling drugs from China into Vietnam headed by Ngo Ngoc Phong (42 years old).

Earlier on June 25, police caught Phong red-handed hiding 231.02g of synthetic drugs.

Searching Phong’s house at Hai Yen ward, Mong Cai City, Quang Ninh province, police seized 609.67g of synthetic drugs, K59 gun, 14 bullets, 6 detonators and drug trafficking paraphernalia.

Information at Phong’s home led directly to the arrest of 7 other suspects involved in the ring, including Pham Thi Van (26 years), Tran Quang Huy (27), Pham Thi Thanh Thuy (30 years), Tuong Duy Huy (22), Le Dai Hoang (18), Hoang Van Hai (20) and Vu Van Sinh (40).

At Huy and Sinh’s house, police seized synthetic drugs, marijuana, four detonators, two mines, 1kg of dynamite, 38 bullets and many parts of short guns.

Int’l community hails Vietnam’s maternal and child health care

Global leaders attending a health forum in South Africa from June 30 to July 1 applauded the effectiveness of Vietnam’s programmes addressing maternal, neonatal and child health issues.

In a keynote address, Vietnamese Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien highlighted Vietnam’s healthcare accomplishments over recent years attributing the nation’s noteworthy success to the commitment and efforts of the Party and State.

This is the third such forum that has been held in South Africa with the aim of promoting healthcare for mothers and children, especially newborns, contributing to fulfilling the United Nations (UN) millennium development goals (MDG).

The forum attracted more than 1,000 delegates, including 27 health ministers and leading professors, who shared experience and discussed measures to help countries improve reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health as well as challenges in mobilising social sources and financial support for the work.

On the sidelines, Minister Tien met with his South African counterpart and health officials from a number of African countries to examine ways to step up trilateral cooperation under the South-South cooperation framework between Vietnam and regional countries.

Hanoi club of Vietnamese alumni in US

The Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO) and the Vietnam-USA Society (VUS) on July 1 launched a Hanoi club of Vietnamese alumni in America, as part of activities to celebrate the 20th anniversary of normalization of Vietnam-US relations in 2015.

Vietnam-USA Society President Nguyen Tam Chien emphasized that the establishment of the club aims to strengthen mutual understanding between Vietnam and the US, hoping that it will make greater contributions to the community development.

Vice President of Hanoi Club Nguyen Thi Thu Thao-an alumnus of the Fulbright Programme in 2004, said that the club’s activities will cover roundtable discussions on topics that members can participate in and other social exchange activities to connect the club with alumni associations in France, Sweden, Japan, Singapore, the UK and Belgium.

US Ambassador to Vietnam David B. Shear said he hopes that the club will help promote the friendship and diplomatic ties as well as mutual understanding between the two peoples.

The VUS’ Hanoi club serves as a rendezvous for Vietnamese alumni who once engaged in US education programmes such as Fulbright and Humphrey.

Vietnam university ties up with US counterpart

The Vietnam National University-HCM City (VNU-HCM City) on June 30 signed an agreement with Los Angeles-based University of California to set up bachelor’s and master’s courses in bio-medicine and educational science and create research facilities during the coming academic year.

The American university will also train lecturers and researchers and set up a Centre for Fundamental Biophysics and Biochemistry Sciences at the VNU-HCM City.

The latter will be assisted through the Centre for Global Mentoring, a joint entity set up by the UCLA, University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to train young scientists.

An oncology research laboratory will also be set up to research into cancers of the liver, cervix, and stomach.

Labour report predicts rise in employment

The second Vietnam Labour Market update, a quarterly bulletin released on July 1, predicted increasing demand for recruitment in provinces with many industrial and processing zones.

The bulletin forecasts demand for about 600,000 new recruits and about 100,000 replacements. The highest demand was expected in processing and manufacturing industries (288,000 people), followed by service activities (125,000), construction (50,000), transportation and storage (12,000) and expertise, science and technology (7,000).

Total employment in the first quarter of 2014 was 52.53 million people, a year-on year increase of 620,000, according to the bulletin. However, 25,000 fewer people were employed in comparison with the fourth quarter of 2013.

The reason for the low unemployment rate was that in the first quarter, the employment growth rate was 1.2%, higher than the labour force growth rate (1.1%).

However, General Statistics Office (GSO) deputy director Nguyen Van Lieu said that many challenges remained.

“Despite the increase in labourer income and job opportunities, many jobs are still unproductive, risky or unhygienic, and this should be addressed,” said Lieu.

The number of skilled workers educated via a formal training system dropped from 5.5% in the first quarter of 2013 to 5% in the first quarter of 2014, added Lieu.

MoLISA statistics show that the labour force (defined as the economically active population aged 15 years and above) is currently 53.6 million, a decline of 118,000 people compared to the fourth quarter of 2013 but an increase of 592,000 people in comparison with the same period last year.

Conducted by MoLISA and the GSO with support from the International Labour Organisation, the bulletin aimed to analyse new trends in the labour market in order to improve labour policy-making.

Communications to be boosted in coastal areas

The Hoang Sa archipelago area will soon have a coastal communication station as part of a national project recently approved by the Prime Minister.

New maritime communication stations will also be built on Phu Quy island (central Binh Thuan province) and in the provinces of Nam Dinh, Quang Binh, Ben Tre, Tien Giang, and Bac Lieu.

The project aims to provide communications services for the marine community and support search-and-rescue operations, maritime safety and environmental protection as well as defence and security tasks and sea-based economic development.

Existing stations in HCM City and the northern port city of Hai Phong will start using digitised radio. Infrastructure will also be improved in Hon Gai, Thanh Hoa, Ben Thuy, Hon La, Hue, Danang, Nha Trang, Ly Son, Quy Nhon, Phu Yen, Phan Rang, Phan Thiet, Can Tho, Ca Mau and Kien Giang.

Standby stations to improve the quality of information coverage will be set up in four regions: Quang Ninh to Ha Tinh, Quang Binh to Quy Nhon, Phu Yen to Ninh Thuan, and Binh Thuan to Kien Giang.

Surveillance technologies, station-to-station management solutions and cable and satellite-linked transmission networks will be deployed to enable ship-to-land, ship-to-ship and land-to-land communications.

Japan vet to donate war photos

Japanese photojournalist Bunyo Ishikawa plans to donate to HCM City’s War Remnants Museum 150 photos he took during his time in Vietnam during and after the war against the US.

The director of the museum, Huynh Ngoc Van, who recently visited Ishikawa in Japan, said the 76-year-old photographer will hand over his photos next year when Vietnam commemorates the 40th anniversary of the end of the war on April 30, 1975.

Ishikawa, who escaped death seven times after being wounded on the battlefield, spoke to the museum director about his plan to donate his photos during his visit to HCM City in March last year.

“He wants the museum keep his photos for younger generations to learn about the war, even after he passes away,” said Van. “Ishikawa is very different from other photographers. Looking at his photos, I can see that he has great feelings toward Vietnamese civilians and the pain they suffered during the war.”

After meeting the Japanese photographer the first time in 1997, Van followed him to various provinces and cities in Vietnam where he had taken photos during the war.

Following the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, which led to full-scale US military intervention in Vietnam, Ishikawa traveled across the country to record evidence of the war.

In 1998, Ishikawa donated 260 photos he had taken during the war to the museum.

In Japan, Ishikawa, who lost 38 relatives because of World War II, donated 270 photographs to Okinawa’s “Material Culture after World War II” exhibition room as part of a permanent exhibition.

Ishikawa was stationed in Sai Gon (now HCM City) and covered the war in Vietnam as a photojournalist from 1964 to 1968.

He worked as a staff photographer for the Asahi Shinbun newspaper from 1969 to 1984. After 1984, Ishikawa continued to photograph in conflict zones around the world.

Nearly US$30 million disbursed for HCM City projects

Ho Chi Minh City has disbursed more than 3 billion JPY (US$29.6 million) of Japan’s official development assistance (ODA) for local traffic and environmental projects, according to the municipal People’s Committee.

The city’s People’s Committee reported to Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai that of that sum, about 1.56 billion JPY (US$15.4 million) has been disbursed for the East West Highway, while the rest went to the first phase of a water environment improvement project.

Municipal authorities have ordered the Urban – Civil Works Construction Investment Management Authority to take drastic measures to accelerate the disbursement progress before August 31, the expiry of loan agreements’ disbursement.

HCM City asked the Deputy PM to instruct authorised ministries to help speed up the disbursement.

The 21.89km East West highway traverses eight districts and includes 11 bridges and 8 overpasses. About 65% of its VND16 trillion (US$760 million) investment was financed by Japan’s ODA.

Quang Ngai hosts exhibition on Hoang Sa, Truong Sa

Central Quang Ngai province on July 1 hosted an exhibition of historical evidence proving Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes.

On display were more than 100 photos, documents and maps, including the “Atlas Universel de Geographie” (World Atlas of Geography) composed by Philippe Vandermaelen published in 1827, a Belgium geologist and founder of the Belgium Royal Geographical Society, which proves Vietnam’s sovereignty over the islands .

Historical documents demonstrate that Vietnam asserted its sovereignty over the two archipelagoes long long ago, and that throughout the centuries, from days of feudal dynasties to the modern era, has continually exercised its dominion over them.

World Atlas of Geography is only one of the numerous global documents and maps that unequivocally indicate that China’s has never had, nor exercised any legitimate claim to the two islands throughout history.

Information and Communications Deputy Minister Truong Minh Tuan said the exhibition aims to honour our ancestors’ contributions to protecting sea and island sovereignty and to educating Vietnamese generations on Vietnam’s sovereignty over the two archipelagoes.

Doctors prefer to work in big cities

The health system in the central province of Nghe An lacks both equipment and manpower, according to health experts.

The mountainous Tuong Duong District has 18 commune medical stations, but most of them have been downgraded and lack necessary equipment,” said Pham Quoc Duong, director of the Tuong Duong Medical Station. “So there are many difficulties in carrying out health examinations and treating people.”

About 67,000 residents have registered for health checks at medical stations in communes and towns.

“There are too many people for the amount of infrastructure,” Duong said.

For instance, at Xa Luong Commune Medical Station, which is five kilometres from the district centre, buildings are rundown, electricity often does not work and there is little or no water.

If medical workers need clean water to wash their hands, they must take it from a stream, said Duong.

Hun Vi Truong, a doctor at the Quy Chau District Medical Station, said that medical equipment was issued so long time ago and it rarely worked.

Some of it was forgotten and covered with dust, he said.

Nguyen Xuan Phong, director at the Ky Son District Medical Station, said that in the past, the station rotated doctors to commune medical stations, especially in remote communes where they were desperately needed.

But many doctors and nurses did not like working in villages and quit their jobs to work at private medical stations and hospitals, he said.

Bui Dinh Long, director of the Nghe An Department of Health, said that the province lacked doctors, but attracting good students from medical universities was difficult.

Although the provinces offered special policies to attract professional staff, such as an allowance of VND15-50 million (US$700-2,300) for doctors, but few of them accepted the offer, preferring to work in big provinces and cities.

Sending doctors to advanced training courses also left medical stations with a serious shortage of medical staff, he said.

The department will now consider rotating doctors from provincial hospitals to work in outlying districts and communes.

It will also offer short training courses to doctors at commune medical stations to raise their professional skills.

“In the long term, little is expected to change,” said Long.

HCM City fails to help resettled people

The lives of people moved out of their lands and resettled to make way for public projects in HCM City have not improved following their move, city officials said at a seminar on Monday.

Hua Ngoc Thao, deputy chairman of the District 2 People’s Committee, said though apartments meant for resettlement and infrastructure there are “better than their old places,” the people face more difficulties.

This is because people lose their livelihoods after being moved far from their workplaces, and are unable to do business or sell goods at their new place either, he said.

A study by the HCM City Research and Development Institute of around 2,000 resettled families in eight districts last year found that incomes had declined for 29 per cent of them and remained the same for 57 per cent.

It also found that 14 per cent had worse jobs than before and 77 per cent had similar jobs.

Tran Van Than, deputy head of the institute, said the survey results are a concern because the incomes of most people had declined or remained equal after their move.

Many of the resettled people are not highly educated and often are casual workers, making it difficult for them to keep their jobs after moving or improve their lives, he said.

Huynh Cong Hung, head of the People’s Council’s Culture and Society Division, said many people returned to their original dwelling places from resettlement apartments just to rent houses and do some business.

At some resettlement projects, 98 per cent of the families sold their apartments and moved out, he said.

Though technically the city provides soft loans for resettled people to do business, get vocational training, find new jobs, and help their children study, Fund 156 meant for that purpose is hardly used, he said.

Many people who are relocated do not know about this fund, he said.

Participants told the seminar that to use the fund efficaciously the prerequisite is to investigate the social needs of people before resettling them.

Hung said the vocational training that the city provides them is not appropriate for their needs either.

Ha Noi pilots car parking service on two wide streets

Ha Noi People’s Committee yesterday green lighted plans to develop on-road car-keeping services in two streets in Hoan Kiem District.

The move followed a proposal by the city’s Police Department and Transport Department to restore order to the city’s streets and promote an orderly traffic culture.

According to the two departments, the two streets – Ly Thuong Kiet and Tran Hung Dao – have been vetted for the on-road parking service due to their 13-15 metre wide roads and generously sized pavements, ranging between five and seven metres.

Ha Noi’s streets have long been congested by illegal parking, which has threatened road safety and damaged the city’s reputation.

Ha Noi Parking Ltd Co has been licensed to provide the service.

The company’s director Bui Dang Thang said that there was a high demand for parking on the two streets, which house State offices and numerous office buildings.

Previously, there had been a surplus of car-keeping services on the two streets, causing problems with managing parking fees and parking plots, Thang said.

He said that the company had also planned to set up a hotline and co-operate with VOV Traffic Channel aired by national radio station to inform drivers about vacant parking plots.

Earlier, Ha Noi Transport Department revoked car-keeping licences from 25 units operating on the two streets.

District judge arrested for accepting bribes

The Investigation Department of the People’s Supreme Procuracy, on Monday, issued an order to search and immediately arrest Chief Judge of People’s Court in Thanh Liem District, Ha Nam Province, for bribery.

Nguyen Duy Hiep, 39, was accused of accepting VND235 million (US$11,000) to hand down a wrong verdict in a case in the district.

He confessed to his crimes at the investigation office.

Cao Bang resident killed by lightning

A man died Monday night after being hit by lightning during torrential rain in Thong Nong District in the mountainous northern province of Cao Bang, the district’s Committee for Flood and Storm Control has said.

The victim, Hoang Van Huyen, 32, a resident of Binh Lang Commune, was struck while preparing dinner with an electric cooker at home.

Local authorities visited the victim’s family and gave them VND6 million (US$280) to help support them.

Huyen was the third person killed by lightning so far this year in Thong Nong District.

Hai Duong to supply clean water to all rural residents

The northern province of Hai Duong strives to help 98 percent of its rural population accessing hygienic water by the end of 2014, of which 65 percent will use clean water meeting the Health Ministry’s standards.

To achieve the target, the locality plans to expand the existing water supply systems so that they can bring hygienic water to more 60,000 people in 20 communes.

The local authorities have also set to provide hygienic water for 100 percent of local schools and medical stations by 2015.

They will work to promote the implementation of the National Target Programme on Clean Water and Rural Environment Sanitation and the new-style rural building programme among local people.

Campaigns to raise public awareness of environmental sanitation will also be organised, while models of environmental protection involved by the locals will be set up.

Poor households will be supported in building biogas systems to treat waste from their breeding activities.

As much as 97.6 percent of rural residents in Hai Duong gained access to hygienic water in the first half of this year.

Meanwhile, 96.9 percent of schools and 97.4 percent of medical stations used clean water in the period.-

Vietnam – Cambodia bridge to open to traffic late July

Final touches have been put on the Tan Nam – Mon Chay bridge, connecting the southwestern province of Tay Ninh and neighbouring Cambodian province of Prey Veng, which is expected to be open to traffic later this month.

The concrete bridge, whose construction was started in April last year, is 77.28 metres long and 8 metres wide. It has an expanded section of some 1km in Vietnam and another 800 metres in Cambodia.

The total 2.2 million USD investment is sourced from the province’s budget.

Once operational, the bridge is hoped to facilitate cross-border trading and socio-economic development in both localities.

Apart from this, Tay Ninh is also building two markets bordering Cambodia at a cost of some 27 billion VND (1.28 million USD).-

Ministry inspects int’l quarantine work at Noi Bai airport

A team of the Ministry of Health on July 1 inspected international quarantine work and the implementation of health declaration for arrivals at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.

As a practical measure to prevent the spread of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome caused by Corona virus (MERS-CoV), as from July 1, all people flying to Vietnam from the Middle East are required to fill out health declaration forms before entering the country following the health ministry’s request.

The regulations are implemented at three international airports: Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City, Noi Bai in Hanoi and Da Nang in central Da Nang city. Passengers on flights from nine countries in the Middle East – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan and Iran – are obliged to complete the declaration forms.

Deputy minister Nguyen Thanh Long, head of the team, asked Noi Bai airport authorities to give a clear explanation on the new form to passengers and create favourable conditions for them to avoid congestion while continuing closely overseeing arrivals from the nine Middle East countries.

On the first day of the implementation of the medical procedure, the airport welcomed and guided over 200 passengers on a Qatar airlines flight to fill out the health declaration form.

The Hanoi International Quarantine Centre at Noi Bai airport said it has two desks with body temperature takers. Any passenger with cough, fever and respiratory failure syndromes will be isolated for medical checks.

Hygienic toilets for environmental protection

Five villages in Na Tau commune of the northwestern province of Dien Bien have hygienic toilets meeting the health ministry’s standards on sanitation.

Hong Liu 1, Na Tau 1, Na Luong 2, Na Luong 3 and Co Dua have become the first nationwide to be acknowledged by the ministry for building toilets for households.

A ceremony was held on June 29 to mark this event.

Na Tau commune is one of the first localities in the country to pilot the community-based construction of clean toilets launched by the ministry in 2009.

The five-year-old project has helped increase local awareness of personal hygiene and environmental sanitation.

As of May, more than 96 percent of households had toilets. The rate of clean toilets surged to 75 percent from a mere 2.6 percent in 2009.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), over 45 percent of rural families in Vietnam either defecate in the open or use unhygienic toilets. Poor sanitation is blamed for diarrhea and pneumonia which are the main causes of dealth among children under five.

Over 200 workers suffer food poisoning in HCMC’s district 12

Over 200 workers at Shin Dong Company in Le Van Khuong Street in Ho Chi Minh City’s district 12 are being treated in the district’s hospital as they suffering from food poisoning symptoms.

The hospital received the poisoned workers on July 1. According to the victims, after having dinner with fried eggs, vegetable soup and fried cabbage at the company on the day, many of them developed belly pains, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache; even some of female workers fainted.

The company medical clinic gave first aid and transferred them to the hospital.

Representatives from the company said Sin Dong Company will cover all hospital charges for poisoned workers. Tests will be conducted to verify the cause of the poisoning case.

Government agency heads must listen to citizens one day per month

The government has just issued decree ruling that leaders of a government agency of all levels have to receive citizens every month.

The decree taking effect on August 15, 2014 regulates that leaders of a public agency have to spend at least one day in a month for listening to complaints from citizens.

The new decree also asks public agencies’ heads to arrange an unscheduled meeting to listen to complicated complaints involving in many people and other agencies or claiming lives of others and badly affecting social safety order.

The timetable of public agencies leaders’ meetings should be showed at easy-to-see places .

Transport Minister issues ultimatum for Noi Bai-Lao Cai Highway project

Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang on June 30 instructed investor and contractor of Noi Bai-Lao Cai Highway Project to speed up progress on the last two bids A4 and A5 to open the route for traffic on schedule.

Thirty percent of A4 and twenty six percent of A5 have not completed yet.

Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC) should terminate contract with the South Korean Contractor KeangNam if they do not transfer money to conduct the project, according to Minister.

The above fund does not belong to the advance given by VEC for KeangNam to carry out the project.

In case the contract is ended, Minister Thang ordered VEC to confiscate VND200 billion (US$9.4 million) which KeangNam has offered as a guarantee of the project.

VEC chairman and director general will be rotated to other positions if the two bids are not completed by August 30 to open the whole highway for traffic.

KeangNam is doing procedures to transfer money for the project, said a VEC representative on late June 30.

The two bids will be unable to complete by August 30 as per schedule without specific solutions, according to Mr. Thang.

Amendment offers more benefits for health insurance holders

New health insurance amendment will expand card holders’ additional benefit and enjoyment in order to increase poor people’s access to medical services and to encourage more people to get health insurance, said Tong Thi Song Huong, director of the Department of Health Insurance under the Ministry of Health.

The new law will take effect on January 1, 2015. It contains quite a lot of important changes.  For instance, health insurance poor patients and people from the ethnic minority groups in very disadvantaged districts don’t have to pay 5-20 percent of the final cost any more.

Martyrs’ fathers, mothers, wives, children and those who brought up martyrs don’t need to pay 20 percent of the total cost of treatment.

In addition, other relatives of martyrs and families named as close to poverty line will pay just 5 percent of the total hospital cost instead 20 percent like before.

The State budget will pay 100 percent of expenses on treatment for those who have participated in health insurance in five concecutive years and their hospital fee is over basic salaries in six months.

The new law also gives more benefit to those who have received treatment at public big city hospitals or at facilities they did not registered with beforehand.

The government and the Ministry of Health also issued preferential policies for low-income people especially fishermen and pay for health insurance for residents in islands.

The amendment also regulates that medical insurance is set to become compulsory to manifest the determination of health insurance coverage for the country’s population. Accordingly, the government will support a group of people to join in health insurance as well as adjust medical services.

Moreover, the amendment encourages people to join medical insurance in family group to get the special treatment. For example, the first family member pays a premium of 6 per cent of their basic salary; but the second, third and fourth will pay less than this, declining from 70 per cent of the first member’s paid premium for the second family member to 50 per cent for the fourth, and for the fifth member, the premium is equal to only be 40 per cent of the first member’s.

Importantly, from January 1, 2016 card holders can come to any hospital in communes and districts for examination and treatment. This facilitates health insurance participants’ access to medical services. Health insurance participants from poor households and from ethnic minority groups can visit any hospital in the country.

More drugs are included in treating insurance card holders. Many of them are new medications for treating heart disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

Students go to Temple of Literature for luck before exams

Students from around the country have been flocking to the Temple of Literature in Hanoi to pray for luck before the upcoming university entrance exams.

Students come to the Temple of Literature to pray for luck in the exam.

Moved by the belief that touching the stone tortoises’ head or stelae would bring them luck, students ignore the signs telling them not to touch the monuments in hopes that the contact will end up in good results for them.

The temple was was the main Confucian school in Vietnam. Built in 1070, it is now only one of many old universities that still stand in the country. The Temple of Literature established in the time of King Lý Nhân Tông turned out generations of scholars, writers and sages.

It is located to the south of Thang Long Citadel. The various pavilions, halls, statues and stelae in respect of old scholars are still venerated as places of respect, and modern students still want to benefit from this tradition.

Calligraphers also still congregate around the temple before Tet to write blessings in the old way. These are much sought-after and often given as gifts during the season.

WB steps up support to Vietnam’s power sector and climate change efforts

The World Bank on July 2 approved a US$200 million loan and a US$70 million credit for Vietnam to support power sector reforms, climate change resilience, and to lower carbon intensity development.

Of the total, a loan of US$200 million will support the Third Power Sector Reform Development Policy Operation, which supports six policy areas including full commercial operation of Vietnam’s competitive generation market, entry of new generation companies in the market, divestiture of power generation companies, and implementation of regulations to move into a more transparent and predictable electricity tariff system.

This operation is the last in a series of three supporting the Government’s power sector reforms, which focus on transparency and competition in the power market, and enhancing efficient use of electricity including through more market-based tariffs.  With this operation, the first phase of the reform program has been successfully completed.

The third Climate Change Development Policy Operation (US$70 million) aims to support Government efforts to address climate change by adopting policies and strengthening institutional capacity to promote climate resilience and lower carbon intensity development. It is the third of a series of three operations of US$70 million each, supporting three pillars, covering policies in better water management, energy efficiency, and policy and institutional development.

“These two operations will contribute to Vietnam’s efforts to move towards more environmentally sustainable growth as envisaged in the Socioeconomic Development Plan for 2011–2015, by supporting the emergence of a more modern and efficient power market and helping Government to put in place policies across several sectors to enhance the country’s climate resilience”, said Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank country director for Vietnam.

Vietnam is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change. Natural disasters and sea level rise have already had significant economic and human costs, with natural disasters alone costing as much as 1.5 percent of GDP each year.

VNN/VNA/VNS/VOV/SGT/SGGP/ND

By vivian