Lao-Luxembourg Health and Nutrition Program Charts Path Forward, Endorses Extension of Activities

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In a strategic move to bolster healthcare initiatives, the Lao-Luxembourg Health and Nutrition Program held its second Steering Committee Meeting, which reviewed 2023 accomplishments, outlined 2024 strategies, and greenlit a substantial budget increase surpassing EUR 35 million for program expansion. The meeting was co-chaired by Minister of Health of Laos Bounfeng Poummalaysith and Chargé d’Affaires of the Luxembourg Embassy in Laos Thomas Lammar.

Steering Committee members assessed the program’s accomplishments in its first year and charted the course for continued success in 2024. A key outcome was the official approval of the annual operational plan for 2024, ensuring a clear roadmap for program activities.

A significant outcome of the meeting was the official adoption of a budget increase to strengthen healthcare infrastructure and systems throughout Lao PDR, as announced during the visit of Luxembourg’s Vice-Prime Minister in Vientiane on 8 February. This additional contribution, one day after World Health Day, reflects a shared commitment to respect, protect, and fulfil the fundamental human right to access quality health care, education and information.

Approximately EUR 2 million will be directed towards the Lao Red Cross and the national blood transfusion center to improve the blood cold chain system throughout the country. This investment will ensure the safe and effective delivery of lifesaving blood donations across Laos.

More than one million euros reallocated from the previous intervention will support renovations and equipment for the Maria Theresa Provincial Hospital in Vientiane Province. Furthermore, the Steering Committee approved a collaboration with the Lao Statistics Bureau (LSB) valued at EUR 200,000.  This collaboration will facilitate the finalization and dissemination of the results of the third Lao Social Indicators Survey (LSIS III).  This crucial data will provide invaluable insights into the current health and nutrition landscape of Laos, informing future policies and interventions and ensuring they address the most pressing needs of the Lao people.

“We are deeply grateful to the government of Luxembourg for their continuous commitment to strengthening healthcare in Laos,” stated the minister during the meeting. “In light of our shared goals, I encourage all stakeholders to work together as one team, pooling resources for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.”

“Today’s meeting was essential to reaffirm our collective commitment to advancing healthcare in Laos, especially for the most vulnerable,” Lammar stated. “Luxembourg’s commitment to the health sector remains steadfast, even after 20 years of cooperation and over EUR 100 million spent over the years.” He further expressed his gratitude to the Ministry of Health for its past and continuous cooperation.

The Health and Nutrition Program is a testament to the ongoing collaboration between the governments of Laos and Luxembourg. With a renewed focus, increased funding, and a commitment to data-driven decision-making, the program is well-positioned to make a significant impact on the health and well-being of the Lao people.

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The Health and Nutrition program is funded by the Government of Luxembourg and jointly implemented by the Ministry of Health and LuxDev, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency.