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China helps Laos meet MDG targets
Publication Date : 10-09-2013
Members of the National Committee for Rural Development and Poverty Eradication met with International Poverty Reduction Centre in China (IPRCC) representatives in Vientiane on Monday to discuss raising living standards in Laos.
The meeting comes as the Lao government works towards fulfilling the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and is part of China's commitment to help the country eradicate poverty by 2020.
Officials from the two bodies discussed experiences in poverty reduction and how best to go about improving living standards in rural areas.
National Committee Chairman, Bounheuang Duangphachanh, said poor conditions still existed in Laos, especially in remote areas.
He said the visit from IPRCC officials would help solve the poverty problem in Laos before the decade is out by providing vital knowledge and expertise.
IPRCC Deputy Director, Huang Chen Wei, said the centre was ready to cooperate with Laos to reduce poverty, in line with government policy.
He said future work would include supporting poverty alleviation activities in Laos.
Laos is moving closer to its goal of reducing the poverty rate, which stood at 20.5 per cent of the population in 2012 and is expected to drop to 19 per cent this year.
By government and international standards, people identified as living in poverty lack adequate food and clothing, might not have adequate housing, and do not have access to health, education and transport. \
The government is targeting just 15 per cent of villages to hold poverty-stricken status by 2015.
Poor infrastructure is a key feature of such villages, which often lack year-round road access and require large amounts of funding for roads and bridges.
The government aims to have ‘developed villages' making up 25 per cent of the nation's total by 2015, allowing the country to reach one of its Millennium Development Goals.
To be regarded as a developed village 85 per cent of households must be home to declared ‘development families', the village must follow national peace protection guidelines, be drug-free, have year-round road access, and residents must display solidarity and be willing to help each other.
Villages must also have electricity installed, feature strong health and culture and practice gender equality.