Ministry of Planning and Investment and UN launch joint programme to support the strategic financing of the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan
Vientiane, 31 March 2021 – In light of challenges in financing development priorities being faced by Lao PDR, in particular with the continuing economic consequences of COVID-19, the Government in partnership with the UN today launched a joint initiative to further strengthen financing arrangements for the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan 2021-2025 (NSEDP).
Opening the launch event, H.E. Dr Kikeo Chanthaboury, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment noted “with 6 outcomes and 25 outputs under the 9th NSEDP, we need to identify the most appropriate policies and strategies to make the best use of scarce financial resources, and prioritize the development interventions with the highest development returns to achieve our national development agenda.”
The global pandemic and the socio-economic challenges it is posing makes the need to increase, and make more efficient, investments towards the SDGs even more pressing. In addition to addressing Lao PDR’s long-term investment needs, this joint project specifically aims to support the Government’s COVID-19 response by attempting to increase resources invested into key policy priorities, allowing the country to build back better towards a carbon-free future.
Working with the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Health, this project aims to strengthen national systems to make the best possible use of available development finance from public, private, and international sources in support of national development priorities and the attainment of the 18 Sustainable Development Goals.
It includes activities to cost key policy priorities to facilitate ongoing prioritization; develop a practical financing strategy to support implementation of the 9th NSEDP in light of shocks; develop an evidence-based approach to supporting budget allocation decisions through a pilot in the health sector; and implement an innovative budget tagging methodology that will allow actual spending to be tracked against priorities.
In this context, Ms. Sara Sekkenes, UN Resident Coordinator to Lao PDR noted that “we are particularly pleased to be able to formally launch this integrated UN effort to work with the Government of Lao PDR to further strengthen the national architecture to manage development finances from multiple sources to support more efficient and effective use of available resources.”
The project is funded by the global Joint SDG Fund, and implemented with support of the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), as well as technical support from UNICEF and the WHO.
With a budget of around USD 1 million this project will operate until July 2022.
The launch event was attended by 50 representatives from government counterparts and development partners.