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Dec 09, 2020 / 11:50

Vietnam ODA disbursement faces uphill task to meet target

So far, only four out of 62 provinces/cities in Vietnam recorded an ODA disbursement rate of over 70%.

The disbursement progress of official development assistance (ODA) funds in Vietnam in the first eleven months of 2020 reached a modest 41% of the year’s estimate, so fulfilling this year disbursement target would be an uphill task with only one month left.

 Director of the Department of Debt Management and External Finance Truong Hung Long.

“So far, only four out of 62 provinces/cities in Vietnam recorded an ODA disbursement rate of over 70%, namely Hanoi, Binh Dinh, Tay Ninh, and Ba Ria – Vung Tau,” noted Director of the Department of Debt Management and External Finance Truong Hung Long under the Ministry of Finance (MoF) at a conference discussing solution to boost the disbursement progress of ODA funds in the last month of 2020 on December 7.

Mr. Long said the progress in the 11-month period showed significant improvements compared to that  in the first half of the year, thanks to strong efforts from the government and local authorities.

“The government has set up seven task forces supervising disbursement progress at government agencies and provinces/cities,” Mr. Long added.

 The progress, however, slowed down in the past two months, partly because the government shifted its focus on dealing with natural disasters in the central region, he said.

At the current state, it is highly likely that many provinces/cities would fail to live up to their promises to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Mr. Long stated, adding the majority of them has pledged to reach the disbursement rate of 90% or higher.

The MoF representative attributed delay in site clearance process to such a low disbursement rate, while there is a lack of responsibilities from project owners and other related parties.

Other issues include the complicated procedures in implementing public projects, contractors’ limited capacity and inefficient cooperation between locality and central agencies, he asserted.

As public investment is a key measure to boost economic growth during the Covid-19 pandemic, a faster disbursement progress of public funds, including ODA, is essential, stated Mr. Long, adding this also proves Vietnam’s ability and responsibility in utilizing funds in the eyes of investors and donors. 

The disbursed amount of public funds as of October stood at VND321.5 trillion (US$13.8 billion) equivalent to 68.3% of the target set by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc which is VND470.6 trillion (US$20.32 billion).