Working towards greater community control over land, forests and natural resources

INGOs important contributors to development

Vientiane Times, 29 Oct 2014

International non-governmental organisations (INGOs) have been recognised as important development partners contributing to national socio-economic advancement over numerous years according to a government report. The message of recognition was echoed by a high-level government official when reviewing the cooperation between the Lao government and INGOs over the past five years. More than 170 INGOs from 21 countries are working in Laos, and 78 of the organisations have their representative or project offices in the country.
According to the report disseminated at the second national review meeting on the cooperation held yesterday in Vientiane, more than US$340 million in resources have been mobilised by the organisations for development in Laos over the past five years.

INGOs projects have been implemented in all provinces throughout the country focusing on rural development, unexploded ordnance, disabled people, emergency response, health, education and sports, and agriculture. “Even though the resources were not as much in comparison with assistance in the bilateral and multilateral cooperation frameworks; however, the cooperation projects between the government and INGOs were effective, and significantly contributed to development in Laos,” it noted in the report.
In his remarks at the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Thongloun Sisoulith noted the role of INGOs in promoting peace, security and development cooperation around the world. “Their expertise, quick response and capability to mobilise resources, particularly humanitarian assistance, have made INGOs important development partners in many countries,” he said.
The Deputy PM conveyed that the government continued to attach great importance to and appreciated the role and contributions of INGOs to socio-economic development and poverty reduction throughout the past decade. He also noted the government had pursued appropriate policies, measures and implementation mechanisms that aimed at enhancing its cooperation with INGOs. This had resulted in increased numbers of the organisations working in the country and more resources available.
According to the meeting report 70 percent of the US$340 million of mobilised resources are implemented to serve communities directly through projects at local level following the country’s socio-economic development plan. For better and more effective cooperation, the government is aiming to improve the internal coordination mechanisms between sectors at central level, between central and local authorities, and between the related sectors of the government and INGOs by regularly organising meetings to share experiences and viewpoints.

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