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Nov 04, 2021 / 17:15

AFD funds to minimize flood damages in Dien Bien

The US$30.3 million project, funded by the European Union and France, will be conducted in the 2022-2026 period.

The European Union and France, through the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), have supported a project for flood prevention in Dien Bien Phu City, the northern province of Dien Bien with EUR26.15 million (US$30.3 million).

 A photo of flooding in Dien Bien Phu City was taken in July. Photo: TTXVN

Bertrand Walckenaer, Deputy General Director of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and Dinh Toan Thang Vietnamese Ambassador to France, on November 3, signed two financing agreements for the project, which is aimed at enhancing the flood risk management capacity of Dien Bien Phu City.

The financial support includes a loan of EUR24.65 million ($28.6 million) from AFD for infrastructure development and a EUR1.5 million ($1.7 million) grant for technical assistance through the Water and Natural Resources Management Facility (WARM) funded by the European Union.

The event took place on the occasion of the official visit of Vietnam’s Prime Minister

Pham Minh Chinh to France from November 3 to 5.

Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including heavy rainfall and associated flooding. Due to climate change, the historical and touristic city of Dien Bien Phu, in northwest Vietnam, is more exposed to flooding from the Nam Rom River.

The joint project will contribute to improving the province's adaptability to climate change, especially in minimizing flood damage on the Nam Rom River. It is also expected to reduce riverbank erosion and urban flooding as well as improve the livelihood of the riverine population along the river.

The project will include constructing and operating hydraulic works along the Nam Rom River (rehabilitation of the riverbank, weirs). Beyond the construction of hard infrastructures, the project will assist Dien Bien Phu City in adopting nature-based approaches with eco-friendly engineering techniques and the development of spaces with more room for the river during high flooding periods.

The EU’s Ambassador to Vietnam, Giorgio Aliberti, said: “This marks an important milestone, which paves the way for more climate change adaptation investments to ensure the resilience of Vietnam’s development.”

He added the WARM Facility is expected to leverage further investments. This type of initiative is fully in line with the EU’s global priorities and the external dimension of the EU’s Green Deal, helping Vietnam deliver on its climate change commitments.

Le Thanh Do, Chairman of the People's Committee of Dien Bien Province said the project marks the historical relationship and the close cooperation between France and Vietnam. 

“Thanks to the support of the European Union and AFD, the province is expected to achieve gradually its strategic orientation towards sustainable development and realize the objectives of poverty reduction and capacity building for the management and prevention of climate change impacts, while preserving and enhancing its historical and cultural heritage.” 

Along with financing for infrastructure, technical assistance to the project through an EU grant via the WARM Facility will be implemented. The support will build local stakeholders’ capacity in project implementation and multi-disaster risk management. 

Capacity-building activities will, among others, include hazard and vulnerability mapping and the promotion of integrated urban development strategies. The project will also provide the local authorities with a better decision-making tool through hydrological data analysis and the development of a hydrological and hydraulic model of the Nam Rom River system.