The Steering Committee Meeting of the UN joint programme on financing for development
10 March 2022
Vientiane, 10 March 2022 – The Steering Committee for the UN joint programme on financing for development met to take stock of progress achieved and plans for the remainder of the programme in 2022.
Chaired by Vice-minister for planning and investment, H.E. Mme Phonevanh Outhavong, and UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Sara Sekkenes, the Steering Committee reflected on how the joint programme “Efficiency and optimization of Lao PDR’s public budget to finance the SDGs through the national plan”, has shown the benefits of new and more integrated ways of working to address priority development challenges.
In close collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Health, and with technical lead by UNDP structured to support the development of a financing strategy for the 9th NSEDP, the programme is funded by the Joint SDG Fund and implemented jointly with also UNCDF and UNFPA.
Work under the joint programme has formed the core of UN’s support to financing for development in Lao PDR, and with growing engagement now far beyond the formal joint programme partners the work now includes both UN and non-UN development partners. Ms Sekkenes emphasized that “…the growing list of those technically engaged in the work is not only a sign of its success, but also an important part of what is making it successful- and something I hope we can build on as we move forward”.
Building on the endorsement of the process from the High-Level Roundtable Meeting in November 2021, the Steering Committee took stock of progress, and plans ahead. This will include the finalization of the financing strategy itself on the basis of all of the work completed so far, expected in the coming months. Vice Minister Phonevanh Outhavong stressed that “…having a financing strategy that is evidence-based and tailored to the Lao context through consultation with all relevant stakeholders to make sure that it is a nationally-owned policy framework and complements existing plans and strategies will help ensure sustainable financing of national development objectives”.
MPI and the UN also expressed their commitment to a second phase of the work building on the successful model developed by the joint programme, subject to further interest among partners. This would offer the opportunity to take forward the implementation of the financing strategy, and more closely integrate planning and budgeting, and serve to cement the integrated approach to addressing financial challenges.
The Steering Committee meeting was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, the Lao Statistics Bureau, UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, UNDP, UNCDF, and UNFPA.