Vientiane, 16 December 2016, the Ministry of Planning and Investment with support from the United Nations Population Fund organized a high-level forum to discuss population policies to reap demographic dividend - the demographic opportunity that can help the country to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth.
The Government of Lao PDR, after adopting its commitment to the International Conference on Population and Development, developed the National Population and Development Policy in 1999 to ensure the balance between population and development and to improve the quality of life of Lao people. The policy was revised in 2006. After 10 years of its implementation, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, therefore, would like to revise the policies that are met with the current population and socio-economic context of the country.
The recent Population and Housing Census 2015 indicates a continued population growth with the population growing from 4.5 million in 2005 to 6.5 million in 2015. However, the population growth rate has declined to 1.4 percent per annual between 2005 and 2015. The average number of live births per woman decreased to 3.2 at present from 6.4 in 1985. These changes provide both opportunities and challenges for the country development.
“Knowing the population structure is vital for designing effective policies and programmes. The population policy can help us achieve more sustainable and inclusive development,” said H.E. Mr. Kikeo Chanthaboury, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment.
With more than half of the population being under the age of 25, Ms. Ulrika Rehnstrom, Deputy Representative of UNFPA Lao PDR encouraged the Government to take advantage of the demographic bonus and address inequality and disparities between ethnic groups and geographic areas. “I am calling for empowering young people in a holistic manner, especially young women and adolescent girls. They deserve special attention and support in grabbing opportunities and claiming their rights. I hope that public policies including the revised population policy will take into account the needs of young people, particularly adolescent girls.”
The Ministry of Planning and Investment is planning to start the revision of the National Population and Development starting in 2017 using the new and updated evidence, such as the Population and Housing Census 2015.
For more information, please contact:
Ms Kay Amphone Singhalath – Communications Associate, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Laos
Tel: +856 21 353048, 315547
Fax: +856 21 353051