Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - World Bank in $72M loan to Laos

World Bank in $72M loan to Laos

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The World Bank has agreed to finance three major projects in Laos designed to reduce malnutrition in children. VIENTIANE TIMES

World Bank in $72M loan to Laos

THE World Bank has agreed to finance three major projects in Laos designed to reduce malnutrition in children and improve public resource use and service delivery.

The bank’s Board of Executive Directors last week approved $72 million in the form of a concessional loan to finance the projects, according to a media release from the World Bank Lao PDR Country Office.

Explaining the reasons for funding these areas of development, World Bank director for Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia, Ellen Goldstein, said: “One in every three children in Laos remains chronically malnourished, and maternal and child malnutrition is estimated to cost Laos an estimated 2.4 per cent of national income annually. We want to support Laos in developing its precious human capital by tackling malnutrition.

“We have adopted an innovative multi-sectoral and long-term nutrition convergence approach in which multiple World Bank-financed operations come together to intervene across key sectors, while converging on the same households in the same geographic locations. We expect this will be most effective in getting results to eliminate stunting.”

According to the World Bank’s media release, households in four northern provinces with high levels of malnutrition will benefit from the $25 million Scaling-Up Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene Project, which will provide access to improved water supply, sanitation, and hygiene services.

These same families are targeted by the $27 million Reducing Rural Poverty and Malnutrition Project, which supports the government to strengthen the building blocks of a national social protection system and implement a conditional cash transfer programme for improved nutrition.

The innovative multi-sectoral nutrition convergence approach will come together in Xieng Khuang, Huaphan, Phongsaly and Oudomxay provinces.

In these areas, chronic malnutrition affects over 40 per cent of all children under five, with long-term adverse impacts on height, brain development and their ability to succeed later in life. These two new projects complement three others supported by the World Bank in health, education and diversified food production.

The $20 million Enhancing Public Finance Management through Information and Communication Technology and Skills Project builds on reforms already undertaken to put in place a basic public financial management framework.

World Bank country manager for Laos Nicola Pontara said: “The project supports a new financial management information system which will improve the coverage, timeliness and transparency of financial reporting in Laos. It also supports a new public finance management skills training programme.

“More efficient and transparent financial management can benefit the entire population in the long-term by improving public service delivery through the better use of public funds.”

The preparation and implementation of this project is supported by the Public Finance Management Reform Programme, funded by the EU, which is providing technical assistance and capacity building. VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • Some jobs off limits to foreigners from August

    Beginning from the second week of August, foreigners will be banned from driving taxis and tuk-tuks, as well as being motorcycle delivery drivers, street food vendors, hairdressers and product distributors among other lower-income jobs. Some white-collar jobs such as the head of human resources will

  • Chinese-owned shops are on the rise in central Phnom Penh

    Informal businesses owned by Chinese nationals are on the rise in central Phnom Penh, especially in Tonle Bassac commune, surrounding Koh Pich. Such businesses have sprung up notably in Central Market, Orussey Market, Sovanna Shopping Mall, Rattana Plaza, as well as Kakab commune across from

  • Sihanoukville authorities find 83 rubbish-packed containers

    Eighty-three containers packed with rubbish were broken open at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port by joint authorities on Tuesday. The origin of the containers has yet to be ascertained, Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said. Pheaktra, who is also the ministry’s secretary of state,

  • ‘Cambodia Democracy Act’ passed by US House

    The US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on Monday, passed the “HR 526 Cambodia Democracy Act”, also known as the Cambodia Democracy Act of 2019. If signed off by th US president, the bill would allow two major sets of action to be taken against high-ranking