World Bank hands $72m in financing to Laos

18 Mar 19

The World Bank has approved $72m in financing for Laos to reduce malnutrition in children and improve public financial management.

Under the agreement, which includes support for three projects, the government will get $20m to boost its ongoing reforms.

These reforms are introducing a basic PFM framework as well as improving the use of public funds and service delivery, the World Bank said in a statement.

Nicola Pontara, World Bank country manager for Laos, said: “More efficient and transparent financial management can benefit the entire population in the long-term by improving public service delivery through better use of public funds.”

The implementation of the project is supported by the Public Finance Management Reform Program, funded by the European Union, which is providing technical assistance and training.

Pontara said: “The project supports a new financial management information system, which will improve the coverage, timeliness and transparency of financial reporting in Laos.

“It also supports a new public finance management skills training program.”

The rest of the $72m will go to reducing malnutrition in children, particularly in four northern provinces, which will benefit from a $25m project to provide access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene services.

In these areas, chronic malnutrition affects over 40% of all children under the age of five, with long-term adverse impacts on height and brain development.

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