Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Laos gov’t eyes graduation from LDC status in 2026

Laos gov’t eyes graduation from LDC status in 2026

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
This file photo shows a female worker embroidering logos on Nike apparel in a privately-owned garment factory in Vientiane, Lao. Frederik Balfour/AFP

Laos gov’t eyes graduation from LDC status in 2026

The Lao government will step up human resource development and cooperation with development partners to ensure the nation is able to graduate from the Least Developed Country (LDC) category.

There will be an extended preparatory period towards Laos’ assumed graduation from this category in 2026.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith said that during a recent triennial review of LDCs, Laos was recommended for graduation with an extended five-year preparatory period, effectively setting graduation in 2026. This would occur following a positive and continued trajectory throughout the time period leading up to graduation under the UN Committee for Development Policy (CDP).

Graduation from LDC status has been a long-term objective of the Lao government since 2000, through strong commitment and consistent progress in implementing National Socio-economic Development Plans.

Laos’ removal from the LDC list is not an end in itself and does not imply that no poverty remains but indicates the hard earned achievements of the government in many priority areas, Saleumxay said.

The decision by the CDP paves the way for a smooth preparatory period before Laos is officially removed from the list of LDCs, he added.

This year, the CDP considered the impact of Covid-19 on development progress, which in turn played a role in the decision to recommend an extended preparatory period before graduation itself would take place.

However, given the current circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, concerns persist because the data assessed by the review meeting did not fully cover the impacts of the pandemic. Against this backdrop, continued support and assistance from the international community is as much necessary as before the review, especially in the crucial transition period.

UN Resident Coordinator to Laos Sara Sekkenes said: “Graduating from the group of Least Developed Countries has been a development goal for Laos for many years, one that has been emphasised in the country’s national socio-economic development plans and policy priorities.

“Therefore, it is very welcome to see the country’s consistent progress across a broad range of indicators, despite the many development challenges faced, including the setbacks presented by the Covid-19 outbreak but, nevertheless, leading to the United Nations Committee for Development Policy recommendation that it graduate,” she said.

The CDP, a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council, reviews the LDC category every three years and recommends to the Council and the UN General Assembly which countries should be included into, or graduated from the list.

There are currently 46 nations on the list of LDCs. Reviews are based on quantitative criteria – Gross National Income per capita, Human Assets Index and Economic and Environmental Vulnerability Index – as well as country-specific additional information.



  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Covid in Kingdom hits ‘critical point’

    The Covid-19 situation in Cambodia has reached a critical point, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned, as cases surge with two more deaths and 265 infections reported over the weekend. On March 28 alone, the Ministry of Health recorded 86 Covid-19 cases linked to the February 20

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Time to Rise by rapper, chapei legend is viral hit with ancient-modern mix

    Kong Nay is known internationally as the master of the chapei dang veng, a traditional Cambodian instrument resembling a long-necked lute or guitar with two nylon strings that he was already playing professionally by the age of 15. Nay is sometimes referred to as the Cambodian

  • Cambodia set for large-scale vaccination campaign as Covid spreads

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed all provincial authorities to get ready for a large-scale vaccination campaign, with at least one million doses to be administered per month. “We will roll out at least one million doses. The vaccines we have purchased and received as