November 12, 2010
(translated to english)
Laos will receive a grant of US$34 million (more than 271 billion kip) from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) to implement two agriculture and forestry development projects from 2011-15.The grant will consist of US$17 million for Oudomxay and Luang Namtha provinces or Xayaboury province in 2011, depending on consultation between the two sides, and another US$17 million for Attapeu and other provinces in 2014, according to a report from the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
IFAD will also encourage other relevant organisations, such as GTZ, Lux-Development and the World Food Programme, to provide technical assistance for the projects.
IFAD President Dr Kanayo F. Nwanze is leading a delegation on a working visit to Laos from November 11-12.
The main objective of the visit is to express support for the Lao government’s 7th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) and Strategy for Agriculture 2011-20 and to strengthen the IFAD’s partnership with Laos within an increasingly integrated region.
Expected outcomes of talks during the visit include reaching a common understanding between Lao government officials and the IFAD on future opportunities for IFAD, including investment and collaboration.
During his visit, Dr Nwanze held discussions with Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh and the ministers of agriculture and forestry, planning and investment, and finance.
Dr Nwanze congratulated the government on its 7th NSEDP, which focuses on equality and growth.
IFAD strongly supports the direction of the 7th NSEDP, particularly towards rural development and poverty eradication, promoting people’s livelihoods and reducing gaps between urban and rural areas and rich and poor people.
He also praised the Lao government for its ongoing support of the IFAD country programme.
Dr Nwanze expressed his commitment to supporting the implementation of the 7th NSEDP, including IFAD grant financing for projects in the next IFAD Country Opportunities Strategy Paper (COSOP) covering two Performance Based Allocation System cycles (each cycle for Laos attracts about US$17.6 million in IFAD grant financing).
IFAD notes that the COSOP is being developed in partnership with the Asian Development Bank in the spirit of harmonisation under the Vientiane Declaration, said Dr Nwanze.
He also expressed his commitment to supporting Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam to develop the economic corridor where the three countries meet.
He acknowledged the request from the Lao government for future support in Oudomxay province and other areas.
IFAD’s performance in Laos has been steadily improving as a result of stronger commitments and renewed efforts by executing agencies at different levels and better collaboration between the government and IFAD, he said. “To achieve the government’s goals and objectives, we will further accelerate implementation of our commitments and will ensure high quality development results on the ground,” said Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dr Bouthavy Sisouphanthong.
Since Laos became an IFAD member in 1978, the organisation has provided assistance to the country worth US$156.91 million across 12 projects. Eight of those 12 projects have already been implemented and four are currently underway.