HANOI, Sep. 18, 2009 (Xinhua News Agency) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) decided to provide Vietnam with a loan of 151 million U.S. dollars to help the country improve electricity services in poor and remote communities using renewable energy, local newspaper the Pioneer reported Friday.
Access to reliable and affordable electricity supplies is critical to promote pro-poor and balanced economic development of remote mountainous and poor communes, ADB Country Director for Viet Nam Ayumi Konishi was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
The project consists of two components, said the newspaper. In the first component, the project will help develop about five to ten mini-hydropower plants in the country's northern provinces of Lai Chau and Dien Bien and several other northern and central provinces.
The second component of the project will support the government 's ongoing program of supporting rural electrification of poor provinces where ethnic minorities live, said the newspaper.
About 100,000 poor households in more than 1,000 villages are expected to benefit from the second component.
Last year, the electricity supply rate reached 97 percent of the country's communes, according to the newspaper.