Vietnam reaches development aid deal with partners

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Hanoi , (VNA) – The Ministry of Planning and Investment and the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) on Mar. 28 signed an agreement on updated guidelines for official development assistance (ODA).

Based on the review of 2009’s cost norms, the new agreement will provide more transparent guidelines for the management of ODA projects in Vietnam , funded by UN agencies and EU member states. The cost norms covered remuneration for project staff and consultants, as well as translation, travel, meeting costs and other related expenses. On-going projects will be revised to take the financial changes into account.

The financing will be market-oriented and flexible in order to attract high-quality human resources and encourage development cooperation. The guidelines will also be reviewed periodically to ensure the norms follow market prices. According to EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, the updated guidelines will help improve the efficiency of project implementation by enhancing accountability, among other benefits.

The UN Resident Coordinator Pratibha Mehta added that the standards will also ensure the consistency of procedures and business practices to help reduce the cost of delivering aid. The EU pledged to give about 1 billion USD in ODA for Vietnam this year. On the days, EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs was received by Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai who affirmed Vietnam wants to cooperate with the EU in economic issues in its focus on stabilising the economy and ensuring social welfare.

Hai expressed his belief that with persistent effort, the EU economy will soon again stabilise. In response, the EU commissioner said leaders are seeking solutions to the on-going public debt ciris in the region. He confirmed the EU’s unchanged ODA pledge to Vietnam and said it will cooperate with the country in its development./.