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Development assistance in Laos

Flag of Laos

Australia’s development partnership with Laos

How we are helping

2021-22 bilateral allocation [budget estimate]
$20.6 million
2021-22 total Australian ODA [budget estimate]
$39.3 million
2019-20 total Australian ODA
$45.3 million

Pillar 1 – health security

Health security in Laos is improving, although many resource and coordination challenges persist. Australia is supporting Laos to improve its capacity to respond to health sector needs that have been exacerbated by COVID-19. Australia is focusing on strengthening capacity for key health security institutions. Training and other support is designed to help Laos understand, identify and manage COVID-19 and other communicable disease outbreaks. We are balancing institutional strengthening with support for Lao frontline health workers, mostly women, who are at the highest risk from further outbreaks of COVID-19 and other diseases. Australia is supporting equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in Laos through bilateral, regional and multilateral initiatives to finance, assess, deliver and monitor COVID-19 vaccines.

Pillar 2 - stability

COVID-19 is exacerbating social inequalities and increasing poverty. Australia continues to focus on sectors that help reduce poverty and alleviate other social pressures. We are also supporting Laos to mitigate the pandemic's negative impacts on disadvantaged groups. We continue to strengthen basic education, an important foundation for Laos' stability and prosperity. COVID-19 has increased disparities in basic education quality and access. Quality education is also critical to women and girls' empowerment and improved social equality. Australia continues its strong human rights engagement in Laos. A human rights-based approach is important to achieving an inclusive recovery from COVID-19. We are supporting stability and security in food and water supply. COVID-19 has heightened water, food and electricity insecurity and the potential for conflict over shared resources. We are addressing increased risks of transboundary criminal activity. Poverty and the diversion of government resources could make Laos more vulnerable to transboundary crime and social instability as a result of COVID-19. Australia continues to support the most vulnerable. Women, people with disabilities and ethnic minorities are at increased risk of poverty due to the pandemic.

Basic Education Quality & Access in Laos (BEQUAL)

Name of document Year published Type
BEQUAL Investment Design Document 2014 Design
BEQUAL Mid-Term Review Report 2018 Review
BEQUAL Mid-Term Review Response 2018 Review

Pillar 3 – economic recovery

The Lao Government recognises the need for diverse and sustainable growth to drive economic recovery. Yet its ability to deliver is constrained by significant economic and financial challenges. Australia is supporting Laos to return to economic growth and strengthen financial and economic management. We are helping to strengthen the trade and business environment. Prospects for a strong economic recovery will improve if Laos removes barriers to trade, investment and enterprise development. We are building capacity in public financial management and economic governance. COVID-19 has increased the need for Laos to maximise revenue collection and improve the efficiency of public expenditure. We continue to work with Laos to strengthen human resource development in support of inclusive growth. Gaps in human resource capacity undermine public sector governance and private sector growth. Australia is recognised in Laos for placing a high priority on gender equality and social inclusion. We consistently advocate for women to play a role in their country's growth, development, stability and security.

Laos-Australia Human Resource Development Program

Name of document Year published Type
Laos-Australia Human Resource Development Program: Design document 2013 Design

Australia's development efforts are set out in Partnerships for Recovery: Australia's COVID-19 Development Response

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