Tag Archives: funds

More Funds Required to Develop Lao Education

Lao Education

More funds are required to develop Lao education, according to the Ministry of Education and Sports, as disparity between urban, rural and remote is still quite broad. The Ministry of Education and Sports is working to bolster education and sports development in target areas, however.

According to the ministry, the education and sports sectors have requested 70 billion kip to improve the standard of education in 2016-2020, while 5 billion kip has been requested for development in 2017.

The government has designed special programmes for education and sports in 2017, recognising that if literacy can be improved in rural areas then more communities will be able to escape from poverty.

Minister of Education and Sports Ms Sengdeuane Lachanthaboun recently said that key education development programmes will improve management and administration within the sector by assigning appropriate personnel.

Programmes will focus on teacher skill development at all levels and providing assistance for students who lack opportunities. Teachers are in high demand in many rural areas.

The ministry will step up cooperation with foreign countries in the education and sports sectors, aiming to upgrade education and bolster educational links within the region and internationally.

This year the ministry will launch pilot programmes to improve conditions in rural areas by building teacher and student dormitories in target areas.

The ministry will also develop a funding group for education development to help teachers and students in remote areas, and source funding to support outstanding teachers and students with talents in sports and music so they can attend competitions in Laos and other countries.

The ministry and its development partners have been focusing on improving basic education, post-basic education and other areas, and these initiatives have served as excellent models to further develop education so that goals are achieved and disparities in access to basic education are reduced.

Disparities between remote rural districts and urban areas must be addressed so that development can move forward and these disparities can be gradually narrowed, the ministry said.

Source: Vientiane Times

China Funds Poverty Reduction in Laos

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

China Funds Mekong Road Construction

The Chinese government has funded construction of a 22.5 km road along the Mekong River linking Tonpheung district in Bokeo province with Sing district in Luang Namtha province to facilitate transport and boost northern development.

A signing ceremony for construction of the 225 million yuan (more than 268 billion kip or US$32.7 million) road took place recently in Vientiane between representatives from the Chinese Embassy to Laos and the Lao Ministry of National Defence, the Lao Army Newspaper reported yesterday.

Construction of the seven-metre-width road will commence in January next year and will take 36 months to complete. The project will asphalt and widen the existing unpaved five-metre road.

The road, which will connect Mom village in Tonpheung district with Pakhouaylong village in Sing district, is part of the planned road construction project to link Tonpheung district with the Chinese border over a total distance of 238 km.

Deputy Director General of the Engineering Department of the Lao ministry Colonel Dr Siphonxay Khamthongveun said he believed once the road was operational it would contribute significantly to socio-economic development of the northern region, which shares a border with China. He added the project would also contribute to enhancing security in the region.

The Colonel said the Lao side would continue to seek financial sources to upgrade the remaining section of the 238 km road, which will stretch through the golden triangle area.

Source: Vientiane Times

Japan Funds Upgrade of UXO Training Centre

The government of Japan has provided grant assistance worth US$827,244 to rebuild the UXO Training Centre and fund a UXO-related capacity-building programme.

A signing ceremony for a grant contract for the project took place at the Japanese Embassy on Friday between Japanese Ambassador to Laos Mr Takeshi Hikihara and Project Coordinator and Financial Officer of the Japan Mine Action Service (JMAS) Ms Naoko Iwase.

The signing was witnessed by embassy officials and JMAS staff. JMAS is a Japanese non-profit organisation that has been actively engaged in UXO-clearance activities in Laos since 2005. The grant extended at this time will fund activities in the final year of this three-year project.

This project aims to rebuild the training centre and to carry out capacity building for UXO clearance operation staff. In the final stage of the project, an office, cafeteria and kitchen will be built at the training centre.

At the same time, training for UXO Lao staff on explosive ordnance disposal techniques will be conducted. Bomb-cutting with saw is one effective and safe disposal method and is particularly useful when a bomb cannot be dismantled or its fuse cannot be removed.

It is hoped that this project will help UXO Lao to accelerate UXO-clearance operations in the medium- to long-term perspective.

JMAS has implemented several UXO projects in Laos, namely in Xieng Khuang province in 2005-7 and 2008-9, in Saravan province in 2011, in Attapeu and Champassak provinces in 2011-13, and in Vientiane from 2014-15.

In August this year, JMAS started a new project to mechanise the process of UXO clearance for the first time in the world.

Japan, fully aware of the importance of UXO issues, prioritises this issue in its ODA policy in Laos.

Japan has placed particular emphasis on UXO clearance through funding, providing equipment such as detectors and bush-cutters, technical assistance, and capacity building.

Japan has also supported UXO-related risk education and the medical treatment of victims of UXO.

Source: Vientiane Times

USAID Funds Project to Monitor HIV Prevalence

Laos has a concentrated HIV epidemic compared to other countries, with the prevalence of HIV still at a low level in key groups.

But risk behaviours threaten to increase the prevalence of HIV transmission amongst the population so the National Centre for HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections has worked to monitor activities through the Linkages across the Continuum of HIV Services for Key Populations Affected by HIV (LINKAGES) project.

The one-year project, costing an estimated US$400,000, is supported by USAID and will be implemented in Vientiane, in addition to the provinces of Savannakhet and Champassak.

The centre’s Director, Dr Bounpheng Philavong, spoke about the project after he signed an agreement with the Family Health International’s (FHI 360) Regional Director of LINKAGES for Thailand and Laos, Dr Stephen Mills.

Deputy Minister of Health Dr Phouthone Moungpak and other senior officials witnessed the signing of the agreement.

In his opening remarks at the signing ceremony, Dr Bounpheng said the project will be managed by the centre with technical support from FHI 360 and will focus on the development of more effective and sustainable systems to reach, test, treat and retain in services members of key affected populations facing HIV infection risks.

The project will use the HIV cascade of services as the overall strategic framework for its implementation.

The HIV cascade illustrates how individuals should ideally move through the continuum of HIV prevention-treatment-care-support services to reduce HIV transmission as well as to ensure a high quality of life for people living with HIV.

Dr Bounpheng noted that the project will also support the centre and provincial committee for the control of AIDS in each targeted province by implementing the HIV intervention programme for men who have sex with men and transgender people.

He said the HIV cascade emphasises the intervention stages of reach, test, treat and retain as key steps to ensure long-term antiretroviral treatment adherence that results in a low viral load.

The end goal a of low viral load among people living with HIV is the hallmark of treatment as prevention.

For people who are HIV-negative, the HIV cascade stresses the importance of primary prevention; this entails consistent use of condoms and regular, repeated HIV testing, Dr Bounpheng said. Both of these behaviours continue to be major challenges in both Laos and across the globe.

Many countries have yet to implement these innovations and so multiple countries in the Asia region, including Thailand where I am based, are looking to Laos to see how oral fluid screening works and how it can help to increase HIV testing among key populations, Dr Mills said.

Dr Mills emphasised that FHI 360 looks forward to continue to work together with Laos as new drugs, technologies and behavioural strategies are developed to prevent HIV/AIDS and care for those who are already infected with the virus.

The most recent integrated biological and behavioural surveillance survey among men who have sex with men in 2014 revealed an HIV prevalence of 1.8 percent in Vientiane, 0.8 percent in Savannakhet, and 0.3 percent in Champassak, according to the centre.

 

Source: Vientiane Times

Luang Prabang to Raise Funds for Poor Children’s Medical Care

Almost 1,000 local people and expatriates have already registered for the Luang Prabang half marathon to raise funds to provide free medical care to poor children at the Lao Friends Hospital for Children.

Samsung Funds World Renew Laos Development Projects

Sumsung on Thursday presented US$17,000 as a financial support to World Renew Laos to fund its integrated development initiatives in northern Laos.

Funds Allocated for Railway Compensation Awards

The government has allocated almost 5 billion kip for authorities to finance work in the payment of compensation to those who will lose land when the Laos-China railway is built.