Laos: Planning minister calls for better use of development aid

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The Ministry of Planning and Investment and other ministries have been advised to enhance the administration of official development assistance (ODA) to ensure its comprehensive contribution to national development. 

This was the message to government bodies from Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Investment, Dr Sonexay Siphandone, delivered at a brainstorming session on Monday on a draft strategy to raise funding to support development until 2030.

The session was organised to encourage authorities to share their ideas on the administration and use of ODA to support development by strengthening human resource development, infrastructure, and government facilities and services using green growth principles under the vision to 2030.

Dr Sonexay said available funding for national development was constrained by a range of issues including uneven economic growth and unsustainable patterns of production and consumption; rising inequality and debt levels; and the devastating impacts of climate change, especially on the most vulnerable.

However, he noted that financing for sustainable development was available, given the size, scale, and level of sophistication of the financial system.

The focus will be to spread the financing from the central to local levels to support the development of infrastructure, transport, and planning improvements, as well as the promotion of SMEs and their access to finance to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Also, under this vision, the government will improve nutrition, and continue to develop the capacity and knowledge of medical staff while upgrading medical equipment and healthcare facilities. Other initiatives to promote sustainable green growth and quality systems in Laos include the creation of control systems and reporting on the progress of socio-economic development, climate change, and the Environmental Protection Fund.

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