- RURAL DEVELOPMENT
- SUSTAINABLE INFRASTRUCTURE
- SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
- GOVERNANCE AND DEMOCRACY
- ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
- ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND EMPLOYMENT
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been working in Laos (officially known as the Lao People’s Democratic Republic) since 1993. There are currently 182 national and 36 international personnel, eight integrated experts and 17 development workers based in the country (as at 31 December 2018).
Despite strong economic growth and rising incomes, Laos remains one of the world’s least developed countries (LDCs). A quarter of the population lives below the poverty line, with the rural population worst affected. The Lao Government has set itself the goal of improving the country’s status by 2024 so that it is no longer categorised as an LDC.
GIZ’s work in Laos focuses on the following areas:
- Rural development
- Sustainable economic development
GIZ is supporting the Lao Government in developing regulations and laws relating to land policy and land rights. This formalises land use rights in rural areas, helping the rural population to improve its legal and economic position. GIZ also advises the government on sustainable forestry and the effective management of protected areas, with a view to curbing deforestation and loss of biodiversity as well as actively mitigating climate change.
To help make Laos’ rapid economic growth more sustainable and inclusive, GIZ is supporting the country in the areas of vocational training based on labour market needs and the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is also providing advice on accessing loans and other financial services and on integration into the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) economic area.
In addition, a project cofinanced by the European Union and Switzerland is being implemented to promote good governance, the rule of law and civil society. GIZ also supports the work of the Mekong River Commission on cross-border water management.
GIZ’s work in Laos is largely carried out on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). A number of projects are cofinanced by Australia, the European Union (EU), Switzerland and other partners. Also, more than 10 sector, global and regional projects funded by BMZ and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) have operations in Laos. GIZ works closely with the German development bank KfW in the country. Germany plans its development cooperation activities in Laos on the basis of joint programming with other EU countries. Pan-European consultation and coordination with Laos results in more efficient and coherent overall programming.