National Population and Development Policy Integration into Provincial Plans

Following the National Population and Development Policy (NPDP) dissemination for the five central provinces in August this year, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) co-chaired the last dissemination with the remaining provinces.

Representatives from the northern provinces: Luang Prabang, Bokeo, Luang Namtha, Xayaboury, Oudomxay, and Phongsaly participated in the dissemination via zoom.

The meeting was co-chaired by Deputy Minister of MPI Phonevanh Outhavong, Vice Governor of Luang Prabang Siliphone Souphanthong, and UNFPA Deputy Representative for the Lao PDR Victor Valdivieso.

Deputy Minister of MPI Phonevanh Outhavong highlighted how the integration of NPDP is beneficial to yield the demographic dividend as the Lao PDR has over half of total population being young people.

Investing in adolescent and youth development will drive the country’s socio-economic development. “This revised NPDP 2019-2030 will provide guidance to integrate population components into provincial and sectoral plans aimed at addressing the critical issues: 1). The disparity of the rates of maternal deaths and fertility between urban and rural areas, 2). Child marriage and early pregnancy, 3). Young population which has potential to benefit from the demographic dividend, 4). Social protection for older people, 5). Migration and urbanization planning, 6). Strengthening population data, 7). Integration of population dynamics into the national, provincial and sectoral plans, 8). Women’s empowerment and sexual and reproductive health.”

Since the first population policy adopted following the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the government of Laos has made tremendous effort the integration of the policy and seen significant progress. At the ICPD25 in Nairobi, the government stepped up its leadership and commitment to integrate population into development planning towards achieving sustainable development.

Mr. Victor Valdivieso, UNFPA Deputy Representative for the Lao PDR congratulated the government’s leadership and efforts, he said “This is a strong policy to guide actions on core population and development issues in Laos. Laos is on the verge of a Demographic Dividend, investments in youth and adolescents are urgent and critical for the country. Integrating this people-centered policy into sectoral and provincial plans will help accelerate sustainable, socio-economic development, and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Source: Lao News Agency

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