Int'l donors announce $7.4 bln aid to Vietnam in 2012

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International donors promised to grant Vietnam nearly US$7.4 billion of official development assistance next year, officials said Tuesday at the Consulative Group meeting in Hanoi.

 

The group is formed with major international donors to Vietnam, in which Vietnam's biggest bilateral sponsor said it will give Vietnam $1.9 billion of ODA in 2012.

 

Yasuaki Tanizaki, Japanese ambassador, said the number would be bigger, depending on the economic situation in the future. In 2010, Vietnam received $1.64 billion of ODA from Japan.

 

Tanizaki said at the meeting that Japan's assistance to Vietnam has been suspended this year after its historic earthquake disaster, but the Japanese government in October approved new loans to Vietnam for 2012.

 

The meeting was an anticipated event in Vietnam because it reflects the viewpoints of major donors to Vietnam's economic performance, especially when the global economy is getting deeper into depression and most countries are focusing on their own economies.

 

Local analysts said Vietnam's status as a middle-income country can help it receive further assistance. But they said the decisive factor is how Vietnam would carry out the funded projects, news website VnExpress said in a report.

 

Vietnam in 2011 has finished nearly 40 ODA-funded projects, whose quality was ranked between average and good, according to a World Bank report released November 30 at a press briefing for the meeting. The World Bank is Vietnam's biggest multilateral ODA sponsor.

 

WB Country Director Victoria Kwakwa said at the briefing that there's no foundation to say that Vietnam has used ODA funds inefficiently. But she also said that Vietnam could have done better, such as disbursing the funds faster or increasing the effects of the projects.

 

Figures from Vietnam's Ministry of Investment and Planning showed that Vietnam this year has disbursed around $3 billion of ODA funds, much less than the $7.9 billion it was promised by donors last year.

 

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