World Bank blacklists 8 projects in Vietnam for tardiness

Thanh Nien News

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Eight Vietnamese projects developed with the World Bank's development aid funding have been put in a “black list” for slow progress, local media reported. 
The list comprises projects that have been lagging behind schedule or failed to secure enough funds on time. 
A Hanoi urban transport project stands out in this list as it is 60 months behind schedule, with only 30 percent of the total funding disbursed. 
Other projects include a renewable energy development, a university and a few waste treatment facilities. 
Keiko Sato, the World Bank Vietnam Portfolio and Operations Manager, said in a meeting in Hanoi on Monday that the number of blacklisted projects is increasing and no drastic change has been made for them. 
The common issues of these projects, he said, are that they were not well prepared. 
Their feasibility studies had not been finished when construction started and land clearance was not even ready, Sato said. 
A lack of funding or slow distribution of additional funds is also a contributing factor for the delays, he added. 
In Vietnam, even small changes in such projects must be approved by high-ranking officials, leading to a prolonged process for problem solving, Sato said. 
Vietnam is now the fourth largest borrower from the World Bank, after China, India and Africa, with 52 projects worth US$9.7 billion.
The combined disbursement rate of the projects is around 18.6 percent. 
The Washington-based lender also said 15.3 percent of 52 projects in Vietnam have “high risks,” but did not name these projects. The ratio was 19.6 percent in 2012. 
Up to 80 percent of the finished projects have relatively good results, it said, which is much higher than the ratio in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, India and Pakistan. 

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