VIENTIANE, LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (1 June 2017) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $36.5 million grant as additional financing to the Northern Rural Infrastructure Development Project in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR).
“The new financing will not only help improve and further develop rural infrastructure in northern Lao PDR, it will also help the country achieve a more sustainable and inclusive economic growth through increased productivity, connectivity, and access,” said Sisavanh Phanouvong, Senior Project Officer at the ADB Lao PDR Resident Mission.
The additional assistance follows a $23 million grant approved in 2010 for the same project to address the issue of inadequate productive rural infrastructure (PRI) in the northern provinces of Bokeo, Louang-Namtha, Oudomxai, and Phongsali, limiting agricultural and rural development in the area’s communities. Given the achievements of the project’s initial phase, ADB and the Government of Lao PDR agreed to scale up investments to broaden the benefits of increased rural incomes and economic development with the new approved grant.
The additional financing will finance 22 additional small and medium-sized gravity-fed irrigation schemes and rural access to and within the schemes on top of the 26 subprojects already completed in the ongoing project approved in 2010.
With the additional assistance, the project, as a whole, will strengthen stakeholders’ capacity to handle water management, improve capabilities of farmer groups in coordinating with markets, ensure climate resilience in agricultural production, support farmers in gaining land tenure, as well as prioritize inclusiveness among women, poor people, and ethnic groups. It will also contribute to increased agricultural productivity, diversification, and commercialization, resulting in higher incomes and better opportunities in the subproject areas.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.