The Chinese government has agreed to provide grant funding of over 34 billion kip (over 33 million Yuan) to address poverty reduction in Laos, especially in outlying areas of the capital Vientiane and rural areas of Luang Prabang province.
The grant is part of the Pilot Project for Poverty Reduction Cooperation in East Asia, under technical and financial support from China to three Mekong countries within the framework of the Lancang Mekong Cooperation: Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
The information was revealed during the launch ceremony of the project, held yesterday in Vientiane.
The three-year project will begin next year and be implemented in the rural areas of Xor village in Sangthong district, Vientiane and in the remote areas of Xienglom village in Luang Prabang district, Luang Prabang province.
Under the grant, more than 2,700 people from 595 families will have access to better basic infrastructure and agricultural development.
In particular, the project will improve road access and water supplies and will provide technical assistance in agriculture and livestock breeding to boost family livelihoods.
The environment will also be improved around the communities while the provision of equipment and experts is also part of the project.
Speaking at the meeting, Acting Chairman of the National Committee for Rural Development and Poverty Eradication, Mr Thongvanh Vilayheuang, said the poverty rate has been dramatically decreased within ASEAN compared to other regions, yet big challenges and barriers still remain toward ending poverty for sustainable development goals, particularly among the latest members of Asean, especially Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
Thus, the project is considered very crucial in terms of better livelihoods for the multi-ethnic people of the three countries and will also contribute to reducing disparities within ASEAN, Mr Thongvanh said.
In addition, Mr Thongvanh highlighted that the pilot project is a vital contribution to implementing national strategies and the 8th Five-Year National Socio-economic Development Plan (2016-2020) which emphasises eradicating poverty among the poor and also graduating the country’s status from that of a least developed country by 2020.
Moreover, this would be a proper platform to demonstrate the deep, longstanding friendship between Laos and China as stated in the Good Neighbours, Good Friendships and Good Partnerships’ initiative, Mr Thongvanh added.
Chinese Ambassador to Laos, Mr Guan Huabing said the demonstration cooperation project in Laos will demonstrate China’s experience in poverty alleviation and target the development demands of project regions with a customised poverty reduction approach.
The project intends to carry out targeted poverty alleviation, improve living and production conditions in the community, build up the capacity of self development, diversify the sources of income, and provide examples for the government of Laos to eliminate poverty and improve people’s livelihoods.
The launch of this project will not only enhance the cooperation and exchanges between China and Laos, but also make a contribution to deepening the friendly cooperation between the two governments, building up the friendship between the peoples of the two countries, and promoting regional cooperation.
The Pilot Project of East Asia Poverty Reduction Cooperation is a concrete action to implement the East Asia Cooperation Initiative on Poverty Reduction proposed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the 17th ASEAN plus Three Summit held in November, 2014.
With full communication and coordination between the Chinese government and the Lao, Myanmar and Cambodian governments, the Pilot Project will be implemented in the six villages of the three countries in a cooperative way.
Source: Vientiane Times