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ODA disbursement on the rise

Update: February, 04/2015 - 08:28
The US$1 billion-ODA invested T2 Station of Noi Bai International Airport has a designed capacity of 10 million turns of travellers/per year . ODA projects contributed to the country's socio-economic development and economic restructuring throughout the sectors of transport, energy, water supply, wastewater and rubbish treatment, environment. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung

HA NOI (VNS) — Official development assistance (ODA) disbursement improved last year, deputy Prime Minister and chairman of the National Steering Committee for ODA Hoang Trung Hai told a conference yesterday in Ha Noi.

Ministries and relevant offices made several legal documents and institutions and set up plans of action for ODA projects in recent years, Hai said, adding that a series of projects contributed to the country's socio-economic development and economic restructuring throughout the sectors of transport, energy, water supply, wastewater and rubbish treatment, environment, education and training and healthcare.

ODA disbursement in 2014 has reached about US$5.6 billion, increasing nine per cent year-on-year, according to the report released yesterday by the committee.

Signed ODA reached more than $4.3 billion last year. Loans and soft loans accounted for $4.16 billion and non-refundable aid was more than $202 million.

Of the total money disbursed, about $2.45 billion was for infrastructure construction, $2.1 billion was for re-lending, about $318 million was for the administrative sector and $732 million was for State budget assistance.

Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) provided $1.77 billion, World Bank provided $1.38 billion and Asian Development Bank (ADB) provided $1.05 billion.

Several large-scale projects contributed to the total, such as Noi Bai International Airport's new Terminal 2, transport infrastructure and the electricity grid in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, clean water supply in the Red River Delta and O Mon Thermal-electricity Plant 2.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) told the conference that the slow recovery of the world economy caused difficulties in attracting, managing and using ODA and other soft loans. The global supply of ODA was decreasing while demand for ODA from less developed and unstable countries was increasing, creating stiff competition among aid recipients, the ministry said.

Thus, developing countries, especially medium-income countries, have turned to South-South co-operation. They have also set up measures to attract investment from the private sector under the public-private partnership (PPP) model and use overseas remittances and other funds to develop infrastructure and boost socio-economic growth.

In 2014, Viet Nam's socio-economic development progressed thanks to Government measures to achieve sustainable economic growth, increase export turnover, deal with low inflation, stabilise national defence and security, and expand external relations, the ministry said. Viet Nam continued to gain support from the international donor community for socio-economic development, which would help the country get ODA and soft loans in the coming year, according to the ministry.

The Deputy PM said ODA projects were often complex and required an extended period of time to complete, and as a result, they were also more susceptible to corruption.

The committee should establish mechanisms to minimise the risk of corruption and ultilise the limited source of ODA more effectively.

"Starting from 2015, ODA projects and their management boards must submit a report on how they managed to cut down waste and measures taken to fight against corruption," said Hai.

"Those problems must be reported early on and not be allowed to escalate, he added."

He ordered the MPI to send inspection teams to supervise and monitor ODA projects.

The country's ODA source yet to be reimbursed totals $21 billion, and at the rate it is moving, the country is losing hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

The Deputy PM stressed the importance of building clear requirements and timelines for projects.

He asked the ministry to collect international donors' insights and opinions and prepare a review for past projects while building guidelines for future ODA projects. — VNS

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