Social assistance can reach the poorest and most vulnerable in Lao PDR

The aim of social protection is to reduce poverty and vulnerability, and foster resilience and empowerment.

The coverage of the social protection system in Lao PDR is currently very limited. Ensuring Lao citizens have access to social protection programs at various stages of their life – from early childhood through to old age – is critical to reduce poverty and inequality. By understanding how the different risks and vulnerabilities affect people through various stages of the life-cycle, social protection systems and policies will be in a better position to address the issues facing the most risk prone groups in Lao PDR.

Some of the common risks faced by individuals throughout the life-cycle are described below.

EARLY CHILDHOOD

Child nutrition is a required focus for social protection programs...

Children growing up in poor and low-income households are more likely to be malnourished, stunted, and susceptible to childhood diseases.

50% of children aged between 3 and 5 years are stunted, which severely impacts crucial early childhood development.

Providing access to adequate schooling for an emerging, modern labour market...

The development of basic education has made considerable progress, but concerns remain over quality and access to education.

While 85% of children now attend primary school, enrolment in secondary school for ages 11 – 15 years is much lower at only 50%. Drop-out rates are attributed to economic pressures that force children to work on the family’s fields or help with housework and childcare.

SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN

YOUTH

Social protection policy and intervention needed for the youth to fulfil their potential...

Young people that have prematurely left school do not have the skills and knowledge to move out of agricultural or unskilled labour. Training opportunities are limited and girls are often subjected to marriage and child bearing at a young age.

Many migrant workers also lack information about the risks and realities of migrant labour.

Livelihood support, disability grants, and access to health services will support families in tough times...

The majority of people work in the informal labour sector. There is no social protection coverage for farmer or income earner who suffers an accident or illness and is forced to stop working.

Approximately 1 in 10 people have some form of disability, while many more experience a debilitating illness that reduces their ability to work.¹

WORKING AGE

ELDERS

Health issues and disability rise sharply with old age...

Young people that have prematurely left school do not have the skills and knowledge to move out of agricultural or unskilled labour. Training opportunities are limited and girls are often subjected to marriage and child bearing at a young age.

Many migrant workers also lack information about the risks and realities of migrant labour.

ACCESS TO EDUCATION AND HEALTH SERVICES MATTER
for cognitive and physical development

 

Primary school enrolment rates are high, but 64% of the rural population did not pass a reading comprehension exam

 

44% of children below 5 are stunted or malnourished

Source: World Bank (2014)

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Social Protection and Sustainable Livelihoods is an Australian government funded project implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and managed by Maxwell Stamp PLC
Australian Aid
Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare
Maxwell Stamp PLC
Hom 1, Unit 17, Ban Nakham, Sikhottabong District, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR Telephone: + 856 21 255334-6  |  Fax: +856 21 255337