By implementing market-oriented reforms, Viet Nam achieved robust economic growth over an extended period. As a result, the country advanced from a narrow inward-looking economy to a rapidly growing lower-middle-income economy. In 2011, when the project was designed, it was entering a new phase in which past gains were to be consolidated and new challenges were to be addressed.
Viet Nam has about 100 large- and medium-scale irrigation and drainage schemes. One of the oldest and largest, the 60-year-old Bac Hung Hai (BHH) system, is in the heart of the Red River Delta and services the provinces of Bac Ninh, Hung Yen, and Hai Duong.
Viet Nam’s rapid economic progress has been accompanied by continually growing electricity demand for industrial development and private consumption. During 2000−2009, this demand grew at an average of 14% per year and, in 2011, was projected to grow at the same rate until 2015 and by 11% in 2016−2020.
In 2006, only about 46% of Viet Nam’s rural population had access to clean water, and water was not available throughout the year. About 83% had latrines, but only 48% of these were hygienic, by government standards. Knowledge of individual sanitation remained poor.