UN says aid flows to Vietnam up, but $6 bln stuck
HANOI - Disbursements of
international aid to Vietnam have risen this year but
outstanding pledges amount to more than $6 billion, the
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said
In a statement the UNDP said recent trends showed a
narrowing of the gap between official development
assistance (ODA) pledges and actual disbursements to
Quoting Planning and Investment Ministry estimates, the
UNDP said aid flows in 1998 should hit $1.43 billion
mainly due to improved implementation of big
infrastructure projects. Total disbursements last year
were just over $1 billion.
Disbursement delays on existing pledges were due to a
sharp rise in commitments since 1993, time lags
between pledges and project implementation and
different donor procedures and conditions, the UNDP
``Total disbursements still lag behind ODA pledges,
although the gap should narrow...,'' said the statement,
prepared ahead of an annual meeting of the World
Bank-chaired Consultative Group of donors to
The donors are due to meet in Paris from December
7-8 to discuss fresh aid commitments to Vietnam. Aid
flows comprise a crucial component of the country's
Some $10.9 billion in ODA has been pledged to
Vietnam since 1993 when the United States withdrew
its veto on World Bank and International Monetary
Fund lending to its former wartime foe.
The UNDP said the top five disbursers last year were
the World Bank, Japan, the Asian Development Bank,
France and United Nations agencies.
``Increases in ODA disbursements appear to have been
fairly broad-based covering most types of
project-related ODA, including infrastructure projects
and technical assistance,'' said Edouard Wattez, U.N.
resident co-ordinator in Hanoi.
``But greater effort is still needed by the donors and
national and provincial authorities to further improve the
equitable distribution of ODA to the poorest and most
vulnerable in Vietnam, especially in rural areas,'' he said
in the statement.
The statement said the share of ODA going to some of
the poorest provinces had risen, but that more needed
to be done.
Hanoi's capacity to coordinate, absorb and deliver
ODA inflows also needed strengthening, the UNDP
UNDP figures for the 1993-97 period showed
disbursements in Vietnam as follows:
Year $ million
1997 : 1,015
1996 : 958
1995 : 596
1994 : 617
1993 : 274
Reuters - December 01, 1998.