Norway has cancelled all of Vietnam’s NOK 35 million debt to Norway. In return, the Government of Vietnam has agreed to mobilise an equivalent amount for development and poverty reduction. The funds thus mobilised will be allocated within a two-year period to a programme undertaken in Vietnam by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in co-operation with the Vietnamese Government.
Norway made the gesture on the eve of celebrations marking the end of the Vietnam War on April 30, 1975. In keeping with the Norwegian Plan of Action on Debt Relief for Development, the debt will be cancelled without taking any funds from the aid budget. Thus, the debt relief will be additional to official development assistance, and will not entail any reduction in aid to poor countries.
Norway is a major development-aid donor, and has so far forgiven the debts of Benin, Tanzania, Ghana and Senegal.