EU-UNICEF Partnership: LAOS PDR
Partnership for improved nutritional and educational outcomes
In Lao People’s Democratic Republic, it is estimated that 1 in 3 children (275,000) under five years old are stunted, resulting in low height for age and impaired brain development. This undermines children’s chances of learning and has consequences that last into adulthood. The rate of acute malnutrition is also high, with nine per cent of children under five years of age wasted (low weight for height).
Despite overall downward trends at national level, significant disparities remain across the country’s 18 provinces, with women and children from poorer, rural areas having less access to the maternal and child health care services they need.
Lao PDR has met the Millennium Development Goals target of universal access to primary education with gender parity, with net enrolment in primary education of 98.7% (2017).
Despite this, the country still has some of the poorest education indicators in Southeast Asia.
Approximately 70% of 5-year-old children are not enrolled in Early Childhood Education programmes, with those in hard-to-reach areas and from poor families being the most excluded. Only 81.9% (2017) of enrolled children complete primary education, and quality of primary education is a major concern, with students’ learning outcomes low.