Illustrative image (Photo: doanhnghiepvn.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – Twenty two official development assistance (ODA) projects with total investment exceeding 2.7 billion USD have been deployed in irrigation since 1994, according to an official of the central project office (CPO) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Pham Dinh Van, CPO deputy head, reported at a conference in Hanoi on February 26 that the main bilateral and multilateral donors include the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the Economic Development Cooperation Fund through the Export-Import Bank of Korea, the French Development Agency and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

More than 45 percent of ODA capital committed for the MARD has been poured into irrigation, he said.

According to the official, six projects with total funding of more than 600 million USD for 2016-2020 will continue to be extended to the 2021-2025 period. In addition, the ministry has assigned the office to mobilise capital for projects worth about 1.1 billion USD.

The mobilisation, management and use of ODA and other loans have changed significantly due to access methods of development partners and Vietnam’s policies.

ODA will gradually be replaced by loans and non-refundable aid from such international organisations as GEF, the Green Climate Fund and the United Nations Development Programme, Van said.

He suggested the money be focused on inter-regional and inter-provincial projects on agricultural and irrigational infrastructure development and the engagement of the private sector should be promoted through the public-private partnership model.

Loans should be used for the sectors that yield high profits and non-refundable aid should be allocated to technical, scientific and technology support, and the building of standards, institutions and policies. Meanwhile, non-governmental aid can be spent on relief aid and minor development assistance in areas with high poverty rates, he said.

In his remarks, MARD Deputy Minister Hoang Van Thang highlighted the significance of ODA for irrigation in Vietnam.

The capital has helped the country repair, upgrade and build many irrigation facilities, he said, adding that local reservoirs which were upgraded with ODA loans have met international safety standards.-VNA