The European Union will provide Vietnam 542 million euros, or $736.7 million, in official development assistance (ODA) this year, a 25 percent drop from 2007, said Franz Jessen, ambassador-head of the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam.
The EU will continue to support Vietnam’s development, trade ambitions and international commitments by continuing to assist the country in the coming years, he said during a press briefing held Wednesday.
The EU assistance, in the next 7 years, will be used mainly to help Vietnam develop its energy sector. Tensions between Vietnam and China in the East Sea will not affect to EU’s provision of ODA to Vietnam, Jensen said.
The EU provided 5.8 billion euros in cumulative commitments from 2007 to 2014, of which 41 percent were grants, and the rest was loans.
Grant commitments to Vietnam fell to 130 million euros in 2014. .
Documents released during the briefing attributed the gradual decrease in grants to Vietnam's achievement of middle-income status in 2010.
The top five grant donors in 2014 were Denmark, the EU delegation, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Ireland, which have committed to offering almost 93 million euros, representing 71 percent of the grants.
Even though EU bilateral ODA is slowly decreasing in Vietnam, there are other channels through which the country benefits from foreign aid, such as direct contributions from donors, including the EU, development banks and other international organizations.
Jensen urged Vietnam to reform its procedures to accelerate ODA disbursement, as only 15 percent of the total aid commitments have been disbursed over the past 7 years.