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Vientiane, Lao PDR, 6th June 2011 - The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) signed an agreement with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) today to provide AUD 300,000 to support the Lao Social Indicator Survey (MICS/DHS).

The LSIS (MICS/DHS) is a very significant nation-wide household based survey on social development in Lao PDR.  Australia's contribution is earmarked for the field data collection which is planned for September 2011 in 20,000 households in 1,000 villages around the country.  Funds will be channelled through UNFPA to support the Lao Government to carry out the survey.

The LSIS (MICS/DHS) is coordinated and led by the Ministry of Health with technical support from the Department of Statistics of Ministry of Planning and Investment; and is being supported by Development Partners including UNFPA, UNICEF, USAID, Luxembourg, UNDP, WHO and JICA. LSIS (MICS/DHS) is a big operation with an estimated cost of USD 1.3 million. Australia's contribution is timely and will contribute to the Government's successful implementation of the LSIS (MICS/DHS).

The LSIS (MICS/DHS) combines two surveys that were previously conducted separately:  the Multi Indicator Cluster Survey (1996, 2000 and 2006) and the Lao Reproductive Health Survey (1995, 2000 and 2005). It also draws upon the Demographic and Health Survey which is conducted world-wide. The focus of LSIS is on health, including reproductive health, maternal health, contraception, sexual behaviour, HIV/AIDS, child health and nutrition.  It also collects data about education, child protection, child development, and water and sanitation.

Data obtained from the LSIS (MICS/DHS) will be analysed and disaggregated to national and provincial level. It will contribute to a baseline for the 7th National Socio-Economic Development Plan 2011-2015 (NSEDP) and will support monitoring of progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). With the provincial analysis, each province will be able to use LSIS results for its own planning, monitoring and advocacy for the social sectors.

For more information please contact:

Mr. Diego De La Rosa, UNFPA, tel: 85621 315547 , mobile: (+856) 020 77791053,

Ms. Pafoualee Leechuefoung, UNFPA tel: 85621 315547 , mobile: (+856) 020 77611798,

Ms Raine Dixon, AusAID, tel : 85621 353800 ext 121,