The Government of Lao PDR and UNICEF chart future pathways for boosting child well-being

The Kick-Off of the Mid-Term Review of the Government of Lao PDR and UNICEF Country Programme signifies a pivotal moment for their partnership in creating a brighter future for every child.

12 March 2024
Group photo of all participants during the kick-off of the Mid-Term Review of the Country Programme between UNICEF and the Government of Lao PDR, which was organised in Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR,
UNICEF Lao PDR/2024/KPhiennachit

Vientiane, 12 March 2024 – Ministry of Planning and Investment on behalf of The Government of Lao PDR and UNICEF convened in Vientiane this week to assess progress and align future strategies to address emerging challenges for children in Lao PDR. This critical gathering marked the beginning of the Mid-Term Review of the UNICEF Lao PDR Country Programme, set against the backdrop of various global challenges and upcoming opportunities for children.

The event reflected on the achievements of the past year, leveraging insights from the Lao Social Indicator Survey III (LSIS-III) and recent data sources to guide new policy directions and address new and future challenges. It highlighted the progress made in crucial areas affecting children's welfare, including health, nutrition, education, and protection, underscoring the success of collaborative efforts between the government and UNICEF since the initiation of the Country Programme during the COVID-19 era.

H.E. Mme. Phonevanh Outhavong, Vice Minister, Ministry of Planning and Investment, emphasized the government's commitment to adapting to the evolving landscape. "As we navigate through the complexities of a global polycrisis, our focus remains steadfast on creating resilient frameworks that safeguard the well-being of our children and boost the country’s human capital. The insights from LSIS-III are invaluable, guiding us to fine-tune our policies and interventions for more impactful outcomes."

The meeting set the stage for an in-depth discussion on strategic shifts required to adapt to the multifaceted challenges facing children in Lao PDR, particularly in the areas of nutrition, environment and climate change, learning, gender, amongst others. It provided a platform for stakeholders to contribute insights and recommendations, ensuring that the revised country programme remains aligned with national priorities and the overarching goal of sustainable development.

Dr. Pia Britto, Representative to UNICEF Lao PDR, reiterated UNICEF's dedication to supporting Lao PDR's journey towards inclusive growth and development. "The challenges we face today, from economic pressures to environmental concerns, require us to think innovatively and act collaboratively. The kick-off of the Mid-Term Review is a crucial step in this direction,  enabling us to reassess our strategies and ensure that the country makes the most of its most precious resource and every child in Lao PDR can thrive and contribute towards a prosperous Lao PDR."

As Lao PDR progresses towards its graduation from Least Developed Country status, the meeting highlighted the need for innovative solutions that can harness the opportunities presented by this transition.

The kick-off of the Mid-Term Review of the Country Programme signifies a pivotal moment for UNICEF Lao PDR and the government, as they reaffirm their commitment to a brighter future for every child in Lao PDR, navigating through challenges and towards opportunities with renewed vigor and collaborative spirit.

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