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Hue City opens World Bank Information Corners

Hue, December 10, 2004 -- Two World Bank Public Information Corners (PICs) were launched today at Thua Thien Hue General Library and Hue Learning Resource Center in Thua Thien Hue province. The ceremony was attended by the province People's Committee Vice Chairman Mr. Ngo Hoa and World Bank Director Klaus Rohland and other officials. These corners are part of the World Bank's program to more effectively share knowledge and provide access to a rich source of information on various topics of development.

Mr. Nguyen Xuan Hoa, Director of Culture and Information of Thua Thien Hue Province, said at the launch ceremony of the PIC in the province's General

Library: "The establishment of the World Bank information corner nested in the new building that Thua Thien Hue Library has just moved in has an important meaning in improving information access, especially external information, and in the gradual modernization and diversification of Thua Thien Hue Library.

This is also a remarkable contribution to scientific research and policy making activities in this area, leading to increased opportunities for cooperation and investment as well as development in the province and in Vietnam."

The PICs are user-friendly and easily accessible learning centers that are open to everybody, including the public-government policy makers, private sector, NGOs, donors, students, journalists, and the academia. Users can easily access a wealth of information through the Internet and WB publications and special books and documents by other academic and development institutions.

"The new modern building for Thua Thien Hue library and the state-of-the-art Learning Resource center shows TT Hue's traditional respect and desire for knowledge. We are honored to participate in Hue's development, and I am confident that we will be able to share what we know globally with people in central provinces of Vietnam. We hope these information corners will connect local communities to global development knowledge and help them make good choices for their community's progress," said Klaus Rohland, Director of the World Bank in Vietnam.

Starting with around 500 publications and materials, and two computers with full time internet access at each corner, the PICs offer free and easy access to the wealth of knowledge available through publications in Vietnamese, the World Bank's web sites both in English and Vietnamese, and a complete set of all World Bank funded project documents in Vietnam.

Stressing the importance of the quality of information that local community can use, Rohland said, "The most important resource of the PICs is the staff at Thua Thien Hue General Library and Hue University Learning Resource Center who will provide guidance and help users make the most of the information available through the centers. They have been trained in information skills, which they use to encourage optimum independent use of the resources."

In addition to major World Bank publications in both English and Vietnamese such as the World Development Report, World Development Indicators series, the Vietnam Development Reports and other sectoral research studies, this is the first time a full collection of project documents of all World Bank funded projects in Vietnam are made available both in hard copies and through the Bank's web site. These include project appraisal documents and other related studies such as reports on environmental impact, resettlement plans, etc...

"The PIC at Hue LRC will serve as a center for stimulating discussions and dialogues on development issues," said Mr. Huynh Dinh Chien, Director of Hue LRC. "This center will offer a venue to listen to and discuss with local government officials and other members of the communities on issues and concerns most important to them."

After the launch ceremony in Thua Thien Hue library, Mr. Klaus Rohland had a discussion with researchers and local policy makers at Hue LRC on social and economic prospects and challenges for Vietnam in the next 5-10 years.

To learn more about the World Bank's program in Vietnam, please visit www.worldbank.org/vn.

Notes to Editors

The World Bank strongly supports Vietnam's efforts in attaining

Vietnam's

localized Millennium Development Goals and targets.

The World Bank provides three type of services to Vietnam: (1) design

and

financing of development projects; (2) analytical work, policy advice, and technical assistance; and (3) donor dialogue facilitation. In addition, every year the Bank co-chairs the Consultative Group (CG) meeting in which all donors gather to discuss the aid program for Vietnam.

Since reengaging in Vietnam in 1993, the World Bank has supported 35

projects to help fight poverty in Vietnam through finance for agriculture, infrastructure, health programs, schools, and other essential needs.

During the last 10 years, US$ 3.8 billion has been committed to

Vietnam,

of which $1.7 billion has been disbursed. This makes Vietnam the largest IDA-only borrower in the world.

This message has been sent to journalists, embassies, private companies in Vietnam and World Bank staff working on Vietnam. If you would like to be removed from this list or would you like to suggest a colleague to be added, simply reply to this message with relevant contact information.

THE WORLD BANK IN VIETNAM

63 Ly Thai To street, Hanoi, Vietnam

For information:

In Hanoi: Hoang Thanh Ha, hha@worldbank.org, t. 84.4.9346600 In Washington, DC: Melissa Fossberg, mfossberg@worldbank.org, t.

202.458.4145

www.worldbank.org/vn