- The Government of Laos remains committed to reducing poverty as part of its ambition to graduate from “Least
Developed Country” status by 2020, yet progress on this front is slowing. Social protection programs can play a major
role in directly tackling poverty, while protecting people against the various risks they face throughout their lives.
- The social protection system remains very limited in Laos. Social protection schemes benefit a small proportion of the
formal sector, mainly those who work in government. There are also some health insurance schemes for the poor and vulnerable but most Lao citizens do not receive access to social protection.
- The major risks that individuals face can be mapped across the life-cycle. In Laos, the life-cycle stages where people face
the greatest insecurity are early childhood/school-age; working age; and old age. Social protection schemes – mainly in the form of child grants, employment schemes, and old-age pensions – have proven to not only reduce financial burdens at the household level, but have also been used as tools by governments to reduce poverty and economic inequality more broadly.
- Women and ethnic groups face greater hardships across the life-cycle than most. Social protection schemes have also
been proven to reduce gender inequality, and have been used by governments as a tool to reduce social tensions between different
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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
Hom 1, Unit 17, Ban Nakham, Sikhottabong District, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR Telephone: + 856 21 255334-6 | Fax: +856 21 255337