ADB provides additional loans, grants

November 16, 2011 

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide loans and grants worth 480 billion kip (US$60 million) for three development projects in Laos.

The funding agreements were signed between the ADB and the Ministry of Finance yesterday in Vientiane.

The funding will support the secondary education development programme, the second private sector and small and medium size enterprise development programme cluster (sub-programme 1) and the Nam Ngum river basin development sector project.

ADB Country Director Mr Chong Chi Nai said that US$40 million will go to the education project, US$15 million to the business-related project and US$5 million is for additional financing of the Nam Ngum river project.

Deputy Minister of Finance Dr Viengthong Siphandone said the projects have been successful in achieving their overall development objectives and have maintained solid progress, therefore the ADB, in response to the government’s requests, has offered continued support to expand and scale up their activities.

According to a press release from the ADB, the bank is continuing its support for the development of Laos through grants and loans from the Asian development fund.

The three projects involved aim to address key gaps in Laos’ secondary education that impede its contributions to growth and the country’s transition to a market economy, build up SMEs in a bid to broaden sources of growth in the national economy, and scale up well-performing operations related to sub-basin plans and management, and watershed management to address food security for rural people.

“The loans and grant agreements will help Laos increase access to quality secondary education, support women entrepreneurs and promote the optimal use of water resources.

The three projects will help improve the livelihoods of the rural poor and remote populations, particularly women, and promote sustainable development,” Mr Chong said.

For the secondary education development programme, the fund will support policy reforms and other measures to improve the quality and relevance of the curriculum, and to make access to secondary schooling more equitable, stated the press release.

Much more of the focus will be on ensuring that young people – particularly girls – from poor, remote ethnic group communities attend secondary school.

For the second private sector and SME development programme, a key feature is a focus on gender mainstreaming to make it easier for women entrepreneurs to start small businesses, noted the press release.

For the additional financing of the Nam Ngum river basin sector development, the project will improve the optimal use of water resources in the river basin by consolidating scaling-up of the ADB-funded Nam Ngum river basin development sector project.

The additional financing project will expand village cluster extension service centre operations and strengthen development evolving fund mechanisms which are critically important to strengthen agricultural support services for sustainable watershed management to promote the adoption of environmentally sustainable and profitable farming and forestry practices.

Source: http://laovoices.com/adb-provides-additional-loans-grants/

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