The accelerated construction of many big infrastructure and power projects has led to larger disbursements of official development assistance to Vietnam, the Vietnam Investment Review said on September 9.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) reported that disbursement of official development assistance (ODA) and concessional loans in this year’s first half reached 3.1 billion USD, including over 3 billion USD worth of loans and about 84.48 million USD in grants.

Disbursement soared 41 percent up on the 2.2 billion USD released during last year’s corresponding period.

The disbursed sum included 1.088 billion USD from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), 923 million USD from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), 717 million USD from the World Bank, 110 USD million from German government-owned development bank KfW, 67 million USD from Korean Eximbank and 90 million USD from the French Development Agency (AFD).

Among major disbursements are a 250 million USD disbursement from the World Bank’s Economic Management and Competitiveness Credit for Vietnam Programme, which is aimed at helping the country with economic management reforms for higher productivity and competitiveness and the AFD’s support programme to respond to climate change in Vietnam.

“Notably, faster-paced construction of major transport infrastructure and energy projects has contributed to this six-month ODA disbursement,” said Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh.

According to the MPI, some 105 million USD funded by JICA has been disbursed for the project to build the second terminal at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport. Some 27 million USD has been spent on a World Bank-funded project to build traffic infrastructure in the Mekong Delta and 15 million USD has been disbursed for the ADB-funded Ho Chi Minh City-Dau Giay express way.

In the energy sector, 125 million USD has been disbursed for JICA-funded projects including the O Mon thermal power plant and power transmission grid for the Mekong Delta, as well as the Nghi Son thermal power plant (37.4 million USD). Also within this sector, there were disbursements for the ADB-funded Mong Duong thermal power plant (94 million USD), and the World Bank-funded power distribution efficiency project (72 million USD).

In mid-August, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung clinched a decision on allocating an additional 3.6 trillion VND (171 million USD) in counterpart-funding for ODA projects. He also ordered central and local authorities to arrange enough reciprocal funding for ODA projects next year, with the aim of boosting disbursement of ODA nationwide.-VNA