Ha Long city, Vietnam – The German government and the European Union have pledged to give about $10 million to support the Mekong River Commission.
A signing ceremony was held to mark the pledge during the 25th meeting of the MRC council in Ha Long City in Vietnam on Tuesday.
“The new funding from both Germany and the EU will enable the MRC to ensure effective basin-wide water resource management and the inclusiveness of dialogue at national and regional levels with a stronger presentation of all stakeholders,” said Pham Tuan Phan, CEO of MRC.
In a press release, the MRC said Germany has pledged to give about $4.6 million in hopes to increase dialogue and cooperation among Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, while the EU has pledged about $5.5 million over the course of two years.
It noted that a portion of the money granted by the EU and Germany will go to the MRC’s new financial system that allows it to use existing funds for any of its prioritised activities.
“The projects seek to better understand and manage the Mekong basin resources and address floods and droughts,” Mr Pham said.
Pirkka Tapiola, EU ambassador to Thailand who signed the agreement, said the funds are meant to help the MRC promote and coordinate sustainable development and the management of the Mekong in the four member countries.
“The funding agreement has been signed and it is a very strong commitment of the European Union for the Mekong River Commission to continue the next frame work,” Mr Tapiola said.
The EU has given the MRC more than $12.7 million since 2003 to tackle issues related to flood, climate change, institutional reforms and integrated water resources management.
Germany has given about $36 million since 2003 for the MRC to implement institutional reforms, sustainable hydropower development, integrated water resources management, flood mitigation and tackle climate change.