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Development aid deal reached

Update: March, 29/2012 - 10:25

HA NOI — The United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and the Ministry of Planning and Investment yesterday signed an agreement on updated guidelines for official development assistance (ODA).

Based on the review of 2009's cost norms, the new agreement would provide more transparent guidelines for the management of ODA projects in Viet Nam, funded by UN agencies and EU member states.

The cost norms covered remuneration for project staff and consultants, as well as translation, travel, meeting costs and other related expenses.

On-going projects would be revised to take the financial changes into account.

The financing would be market-oriented and flexible in order to attract high-quality human resources and encourage development co-operation. The guidelines would also be reviewed periodically to ensure the norms followed market prices.

According to EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, the updated guidelines would help improve the efficiency of project implementation by enhancing accountability, among other benefits.

The UN Resident Coordinator Pratibha Mehta added that the standards would also ensure the consistency of procedures and business practices to help reduce the cost of delivering aid.

The EU pledged to give about US$1 billion in ODA for Viet Nam this year.

Economic co-operation

Viet Nam wants to co-operate with the European Union (EU) in economic issues in its focus on stabilising the economy and ensuring social welfare, said Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai in the capital yesterday.

Speaking to EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, Hai believed that with persistent effort, the EU economy would soon again stabilise.

In response, the EU commissioner said leaders were seeking solutions to the on-going public debt crisis in the region. Piebalgs confirmed the EU's unchanged ODA pledge to Viet Nam and said that it would co-operate with the country in its development. — VNS

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