Vietnam's Mekong Delta to receive nearly $400 million to combat climate change

The delta, where nearly half of the country’s rice is grown, is at threat from saltwater intrusion.
The World Bank has pledged $310 million to help nine provinces in the Mekong Delta to combat adverse weather conditions that have led to saltwater intrusion, coastal erosion and flooding.
“Recent extreme weather in the Mekong River Delta, including drought and salinity intrusion, are negatively affecting the lives of the farmers – most of them are poor,” said Achim Fock, acting country director for the World Bank in Vietnam.
The project will work on a reciprocal basis with the Vietnamese government committing $72.5 million while sourcing $2.4 million from the private sector. It is expected to build climate resilience and ensure sustainable livelihoods for 1.2 million people living in nine Mekong Delta provinces.
Vietnam’s annual rice exports of $4 billion account for more than one fifth of the global total. The Mekong Delta alone contributes half of Vietnam’s rice output, 70 percent of its aquaculture products and one-third of Vietnam’s gross domestic product.
However, the region has also been identified as one of the deltas most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change as well as upstream development.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment forecasts that about 45 percent of the Mekong Delta will be affected by saltwater intrusion by 2030 if hydropower dams and reservoirs continue to stop water from flowing downstream.

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