Poverty Reduction: In-depth

Face of woman from Lao ethnic group
There are 49 ethnic groups in Lao PDR, ensuring sustainable and equitable development is key to the country's future. Photo: UNDPLaoPDR

Summary

We work toward achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Government's 7th National Socio-Economic Development Plan 2011-2015 and, more broadly, Lao PDR’s “graduation” to middle-income status, through comprehensive assistance to the Ministry of Planning and Investment. This assistance helps the Government to access funding that may not otherwise have been available and to address emerging development issues through better targeted actions to serve people in need.

Current Programme


The 2011 Round Table Implementation Meeting in Vientiane. Photo: UNDP Lao PDR/Laophoto

Inclusive and Pro-poor development planning
We help to strengthen the Government’s capacity at central and local levels in ensuring the formulation and implementation of their development plan encompassing all key aspects, such as equitable growth, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability, with special attention given to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Strengthening development effectiveness
The Round Table Process on strategic development directions has been the core of UNDP’s special development partnership with Lao PDR. UNDP plays an especially important lead role as co-chair of the Round Table Process with the Government, helping ensure donor funds achieve the greatest development results based on national priorities. This goal has been set not only in the Vientiane Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, but also at the Fourth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries.

Informed policymaking
We are helping to improve the Ministry’s planning and monitoring/evaluation functions, through establishment of a strengthened database and better-trained personnel for more reliable development statistics.

Human development

We offer groundbreaking research on human development in Lao PDR, the non-income side of reducing poverty, and support National Human Development Reports that share the common goal of placing people back at the center of the development process in order to shape a clearer path toward achieving the MDGs.

Making Access to Finance More Inclusive for Poor People

Along with UNCDF, we established a funding mechanism that helps financial service providers to be more responsive to the financial needs of low-income households and micro-entrepreneurs. This is improving access of poor people to land, markets and social and economic services. Our goal is to reach 140,000 active clients by 2014, up from 30,000 in 2010.

Regional Integration
As part of the smooth transition to graduate from Least Developed Country (LDC) status, we are building Lao PDR’s capacity to receive maximum benefits from full integration into the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) by 2015, which will expand the country’s competitiveness in the global economy and accelerate poverty reduction.

The Lao Development Journey toward Graduation from Least Developed Country Status

This pamphlet provides a brief guide on everything you need to know about Lao PDR's aim of exiting the Least Developed Country (LDC) list by 2020. This includes the three criteria required to graduate from LDC status; Gross National Income per capita; The Human Assets Index; and The Economic Vulnerability Index.