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Koica grants $7 million to support Lao gender project

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Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica) has entered into its first collaboration with the Lao Women’s Union. KOICA OFFICE IN LAO PDR

Koica grants $7 million to support Lao gender project

The Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica) has entered into its first collaboration with the Lao Women’s Union and launched a gender project by providing $7 million in grant aid to support the prevention and elimination of violence against women in Laos.

The Koica Office in Laos and the Lao Women’s Union on Thursday signed a Record of Discussion to support the Project on Prevention and Elimination of Violence Against Women for Mainstreaming Gender into the National Development Agenda in Laos from 2020-2024.

According to the Koica Office in Laos, through the project Koica aims to contribute to strengthening physical and human capacity to prevent violence against women through various activities.

The project will establish a Counselling Centre for Prevention and Elimination of Violence Against Women, develop an operating system for this centre and a comprehensive support model for victims of violence, and create a counselling workforce and network for quality services and comprehensive action.

Koica will also collaborate with the UNDP and UNFPA to build a governance system to counter violence against women in Laos.

The UNDP-UNFPA joint programme funded by Koica will officially launch a development cooperation dialogue platform through which development partners can discuss any gender-related issues.

The Koica Office in Laos believes the Record of Discussion marks an important milestone in the countries’ partnership to strengthen the prevention and elimination of violence against women so that this work is more efficient and effective.

Through this collaboration Koica believes that residents and local authorities will benefit by receiving new knowledge and new technologies to apply to actual tasks in Laos.

The Record of Discussion was signed by Koica Office in Laos resident representative Im Jeong-hee and Lao Women’s Union head of office Vilayvanh Dilaphanh.

The signing was witnessed by the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Laos Shin Sung-soon and Lao Women’s Union president Dr Inlavanh Keobounphanh, along with representatives from UNDP, UNFPA and related ministries.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Shin said: “The Lao government recognises the importance of women’s active participation in political, economic and social activities based on gender equality.

“However, many women are still exposed to domestic violence, which is an obstacle to women’s socio-economic activities.

“This project will help establish a system that can more effectively respond to the issue of violence against women in Laos.

“It is very timely to commence the project in light of the accelerating environment in which women are more easily exposed to violence in the Covid-19 situation where various quarantine and movement restrictions are becoming regular,” he said.

Dr Inlavanh, on behalf of the Lao Women’s Union, expressed her gratitude that through this support the Republic of Korea recognises the importance of giving Lao women opportunities to improve their lives to a level accepted in other countries.

The project is important because violence against women is a problem that urgently needs to be resolved and victims of violence need all the help they can get.

VIENTIANE TIMES/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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