|Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (centre), Deputy PM Vương Đình Huệ (left) and Deputy PM Phạm Bình Minh (right) chair a meeting to discuss ODA use in Hà Nội on Thursday. — VGPNews|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Official Development Assistance (ODA) should only be used for national development projects, not to cover Government spending, said national leaders during a government meeting in Hà Nội on Thursday.
ODA has played an important part in the country’s socio-economic development since the beginning of the renewal era, especially in developing its infrastructure networks and enhancing the Government’s management capacity, said Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.
The PM said that while there have been improvements in recent years, the country is still struggling with many shortcomings and limitations in utilising ODA sources.
Therefore, he urged ministries and agencies to tighten control over existing ODA projects to reduce waste and to bring about greater impact on national development. In addition, new ODA projects will be strictly for development purposes.
The PM stressed that unnecessary expenses such as purchasing vehicles for ODA projects must be eliminated when possible.
Public officials voiced their concern over the need to clearly distinguish between unnecessary expenses in ODA projects and investment in development.
The traditional view is that development investments often include infrastructure projects but there has been a greater emphasis on projects designed to enhance the Government’s management and technical capacity. This is particularly important in healthcare and education sectors.
Việt Nam is a major recipient of ODA in the region, having received over US$72 billion from 1995-2015. While effective management and utilisation of development aid can spur economic growth, inefficient use of ODA can drive up public debt levels and generate a heavy financial burden for future generations.
The World Bank discontinued the providence of ODA to Việt Nam last July as it stepped into the middle-income group in 2011. Today, Japan is the largest donor of ODA to Việt Nam followed by S Korea with billions of US dollars granted on a yearly basis. — VNS