UN Agencies Continue to Boost Development in Laos

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All three respective United Nations agencies are starting their new cycle of five-year programming next year in an effort to boost the development of Laos after reaching an agreement on the path forward.

Together, the UNICEF, UNDP and UNFPA estimate they shall deliver close to US$200 million over the five-year programme period from 2017-2021 – that is an estimated US$40 million a year, according to the UNDP.

The Letter of Agreement was co-signed yesterday by Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, Dr Kikeo Chanthaboury and the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Mr Balasubramaniam Murali.

The related documents were also signed by UNFPA Deputy Representative, Ms Ulrika Rehnström Loi and UNICEF Laos Representative, Ms Hongwei Gao.

Three UN agencies – the UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF implement the new Laos-United Nations Partnership Framework, reflecting the collective contributions of the United Nations to support the country in achieving the development goals set by the government.

“Yesterday’s signing marks another milestone in the government’s partnership with the United Nations, as the period 2017-2021 coincides with the last push for the country to graduate from least developed country status to develop into a modern upper middle income country by 2020,” Dr Kikeo said.

While the specific programmes differ in line with their respective mandates, the three agencies share common goals and strategies, as all will collaborate with other United Nations agencies and development partners to support the achievement of the 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan and the Sustainable Development Goals, including the additional local Goal 18 on UXO and other key national development objectives.

Under the new agreement, the UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF will also support policy and legislative reform, capacity building of government institutions and work on south-south cooperation.

Another common theme among the three agencies is the work done for and with young people; an essential component in a country with some 60 percent of its population below the age of 25.

UNDP Laos’ new country programme concentrates on key target groups: poor people and those most at risk of falling back into poverty, especially rural agricultural workers and communities in or near protected areas.

This focus includes youth, particularly young women, for skills development and increased awareness of their rights to access justice and public services. The UNDP will also expand efforts to facilitate south and triangular cooperation, especially among ASEAN countries.

The UNFPA Laos’ new country programme will focus on marginalised populations, in particular rural and ethnic women, adolescents and young people.

It aims to ensure that adolescent girls are empowered to delay their first pregnancy and can realise their full potential while contributing to a sustainable future in Laos.

The overall goal of UNICEF Laos’ new country programme is to ensure that children, especially the most disadvantaged, fully enjoy their rights to survival, development and protection.

 

Source: Vientiane Times

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