Over the first half of 2020, infrastructure construction projects by Japanese Government’s ODA have been on schedule implemented, despite severe impact of COVID-19.
That statement was confirmed by Mr. Shimizu Akira, Representative Head of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Vietnam Office, at the annual press conference which was in mid-term of the fiscal year 2020 at Hanoi, in the morning of October 6, 2020.At the press conference, Mr. Shimizu Akira focused on sharing information relating to outstanding projects of JICA in terms of health care and public investment that is in the consistence with Vietnam Government’s policy targeting the dual “preventing the pandemic and maintaining economic growth”.
According to Mr. Shimizu Akira, JICA has supported Vietnam in health care terms for years. Indeed, JICA dispatched more than 2,000 experts, 140 volunteers to work at Vietnam and trained about 5,300 Vietnamese trainees. Sponsorship of JICA spent on loan projects and technical cooperation projects in health care terms reached 77.4 billion yen (around 10,000 billion dong), in which JICA prioritized the key projects such as “Enhancement of core health care system of such central hospitals as Bach Mai Hospital, Cho Ray Hospital” and “strengthening measures for infectious diseases prevention and control”.
Experience gained from supporting Bach Mai Hospital in control of the acute respiratory infection SARS outbreak in 2003, fifteen years of assistance for research and enhancement of testing system of the Central Hygiene and Epidemiology Institute, Pasteur Institute at Ho Chi Minh City, etc. made a contribution to success of controlling and preventing expansion of the new-type coronavirus in Vietnam.
To add, since February of 2020, JICA has collaborated with partners in implementation of project meeting urgent needs of Vietnam in the pandemic prevention, by which bio-products aid to the Central Hygiene and Epidemiology Institute, Pasteur Institute at Ho Chi Minh City was taken place, supporting to editing and printing brochures named “Process of controlling infection”, sponsoring medical equipment such as ECMO to Cho Ray Hospital, etc. with a total volume of 170 million yen (around 37 billion dong).Going with the battlefield defeating the COVID-19 pandemic, medical activities have been more focused in order to control infectious diseases. To meet requirements of the current situation, JICA would deepen cooperation in the health care optimizing valuable experiences gained at Vietnam.
In public investment, in spite of the coronavirus impacts, going with Vietnam Government’s policy in public infrastructure implementation even during the social distance period, JICA continued deploying the ODA projects that remained works for Vietnamese engineers under those projects, contributing to economic recovery of the country. For instance, about 2,000 labors participated in construction of Line 1 Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien of the Project “Ho Chi Minh City’s urban railway Construction”.
As said Mr. Shimizu Akira, that infrastructure quality plays a key role in attracting foreign investment. Through granting ODA loans in particular and ODA in general, JICA would like to continuously contribute to Vietnam’s economic development.
In the first half of this year, despite the severe impacts of COVID-19, the ODA-granted infrastructure construction projects have been operated on schedule time. Project “Investment and Construction of Weighbridge Mai Dich – Nam Thang Long of the Ring Road number 2 of Hanoi” will be inaugurated in October 2020. First train cars of project “Ho Chi Minh City Urban Railway Construction” (Line 1: Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien) will tentatively arrive Vietnam in this month. The biggest bid of Project “Waste water treating system Yen Xa, Hanoi” constructing the waste water treatment area was already commenced.
As vulnerable communities have been easily suffering impacts of the pandemic, JICA has been deploying projects in order to mitigate poor-rich gaps by strengthening facilities capability of not urban sites but rural areas.
In July 2020, the Project “Transportation Credit to the 2nd national roads framework improvement” accomplished getting upgraded and reconstructing 98 weak bridges located in various road lines across different provinces and cities nationwide. Despite their small sizes, those bridges facilitate commuting and significantly improve locals’ routine life.
Those public infrastructure projects align with the prioritizing list of eco-social development plan of Vietnam Government. Besides the signed and stably deployed projects, new projects under the cooperation between JICA and Vietnam Government would be implemented for higher effectiveness.The representative head of JICA Vietnam Office confirmed that, JICA would have cooperated closer with Vietnam Government to continue supporting Vietnam in both material (through facilities) and soft (through technical cooperation) sides, contributing to the development of Vietnam./.