High-Level Consultation on the 9th NSEDP Financing Strategy
Vientiane, 16 September 2022 – A High-Level Consultation was convened on Friday with those that have been technically engaged to discuss the advanced draft of the Financing Strategy for the 9th NSEDP containing concrete policies and actions to ensure the sustainable financing of national development priorities. The half-day meeting which was chaired by Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, H.E. Mme Phonevanh Outhavong, and UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Sara Sekkenes, was attended by about 50 representatives from government, including Deputy Ministers and leading departments of involved Ministries, notably the Ministry of Finance, Bank of Lao PDR, Ministry of Education and Sports, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and Ministry of Energy and Mines, as well as Heads of Mission of engaged development partners including Australia, Japan, EU, ADB, GGGI, IMF, JICA, World Bank, UNCDF, UNDESA, UNDP, UNEP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNODC, WHO, and the UNRCO.
The meeting deliberated the MPI-led draft Financing Strategy, which is based on the Integrated National Financing Framework methodology endorsed at the 2015 Conference on Financing for Development with all Member States, which considers all public and private sources of finance, with a clear focus on resolving fiscal challenges and simultaneously improving the regulatory framework for quality and sustainable investments, and the result of a collaborative process of nearly two years of consultation workshop with a large group of stakeholders. The draft financing strategy was reviewed in detail during a two-day “writeshop” within government in early September and comprises 54 policies and actions and a dedicated matrix with assigned responsibilities for a rapid and smooth implementation from January 2023 to the end of 2025 when the 9th NSEDP comes to its end.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, H.E. Mme Phonevanh Outhavong said the mission of this broadly consulted and comprehensive financing strategy is to ensure effectiveness in the financing of the national plan through actions that will help increase the volume of development finance and improve the alignment of available resources with the 9th NSEDP.
Ms. Sara Sekkenes, UN Resident Coordinator to Lao PDR, similarly mentioned that there is an imperative for strong guiding directions to mitigate the effects of the financial challenges Lao PDR faces, that can prioritise policies and targeted financial decisions that can bring the country back on its sustainable development trajectory.
The consultation also discussed preparation for the High-Level Structured Dialogue, which will see the validation of the 9th NSEDP Financing Strategy, among a much broader and open-ended group of stakeholders, planned for the end of September 2022.
This Financing Strategy is set to be endorsed by the end of this year by the government of Lao PDR, as an integral part of the national plan, and will guide the remaining implementation of the 9th NSEDP.