Fifteen donor countries and three international organizations have agreed to provide Laos no less than $1,153 billion for the years 2007-2009 to fund its develoment projects to assist in its goal of reducing poverty by 2015.
The agreement was reached at the recent 9th round-table discussion with Lao officials, with Japan providing the most assistance followed by the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, and the European Union in that order. The amount of assistance is of the same level as provided for the years 2004-2006 and includes over $700 million in grants.
Laos Prime Minister, Mr. Bouasone Bouphavanh, says his country will use the aid in accordance with the intentions of the donors, with a large part to go toward integrated rural development projects.
Nevertheless, the aid is only half of what Laos said it would need to implement its 6th 5-year deveolpment program for 2006-2010, which aims at reducing the number of poor people from 33% of the population now to 15% in 2010, and lifting the country completely out of poverty by 2015.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details.