Vietnam accelerates disbursement of ODA capital

Ha Noi, Nov. 21 (VNA) -- The whole country disbursed USD 1.25 billion from ODA capital sources in the first nine months of 2000, raising the total of disbursed ODA capital from 1993 to USD 7.6 billion.

ODA disbursement has seen a remarkable progress in recent years. If disbursed ODA capital was USD 2.775 billion in the 1993-1996 period or only 33 percent of the pledged capital, the rate of disbursed ODA capital has been raised to 60 percent since 1997 with USD 1 billion in 1997, USD 1.24 billion in 1998 and USD 1.35 billion in 1999.

Since Viet Nam's resumption of relations with international credit organizations, international donors have committed a financial grant of USD 15.9 billion to Viet Nam, including 25 percent as non-refundable aid.

Major donors include Japan, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, accounting for 80 percent of ODA commitment, followed by France, Germany, Australia, Sweden, IMF, EU and others.

Thanks to ODA sources, Viet Nam's infrastructural facilities have seen remarkable changes. According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, projects using ODA capital focussed on energy sector, accounting for 28 percent; transport sector, 27 percent; agriculture and irrigation, 13 percent; education, health care, science and technology, 13 percent; water supply and drainage, 9 percent, and budget subsidies and other sectors, 10 percent.

Major projects of national and international level using ODA sources are the Phu My Thermo-power Plant, Highway No 1, Highway No 5, the bridge spanning the Gianh river, and the My Thuan bridge.

Millions of people living in mountainous and remote areas are benefitting from ODA capital through projects to develop animal husbandry, afforestation, aquaculture and industrial crop growing.

However, donors and economic experts pointed to weaknesses and limitation in settling procedures for ground clearance, considering projects, managing capital, particularly the shortage of counter-part capital for projects, which resulted in slow disbursement of ODA capital.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment have issued many solutions to effectively use and rapidly increase the volume of ODA capital disbursement. Under such solutions, relevant agencies should take the initiative in requesting donors' assistance according to the State's priorities while making plans to use ODA capital in the 2001-2005 period.

In addition, administrative reforms should be actively conducted with special attention given to raising the responsibilities of all administrative levels and branches to rapidly accelerate the disbursement of ODA capital.--VN