Government, Development Partners Prepare To Address Disaster Recovery At This Year's Round Table Meeting | Lao Tribune

Government, Development Partners Prepare To Address Disaster Recovery At This Year’s Round Table Meeting

(KPL) The Lao PDR’s main development cooperation and policy dialogue forum, the annual Round Table Meeting will be held in Vientiane on 4-5 December.

The Round Table Process is led by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, bringing together government agencies and Development Partners to take stock of progress and discuss how to maximize the benefits of partnerships for the development of the Lao PDR.

This year, discussions at the Round Table Meeting will focus on the Mid-Term Review of the implementation of the country’s 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP, 2016-2021) which aims for the graduation of Lao PDR from the Least Developed Country status. The forum will also consider the impact of the recent floods on the country’s economy and the livelihoods of its people, including the results of the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment which was coordinated by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, National Disaster Prevention and Control Committee, and facilitated by the United Nations, the World Bank and the European Union.

To prepare for the Round Table Meeting and the post-disaster recovery in particular, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, National Disaster Prevention and Control Committee, together with the Ministry of Planning and Investment called for a pre-consultation meeting at the National Convention Centre on Nov 21, 2018.

The objective of the meeting was to give government agencies and development partners an update on the results of the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment and to discuss the next steps of the recovery process.

Particular attention was given to the Disaster Recovery Framework that is expected to be finalized in the coming months.

The Disaster Recovery Framework will guide the government and other implementing stakeholders in recovery efforts over the medium to long term.

According to the figures presented at the meeting, immediate damages amount to a total of LAK 1,253.10 billion (USD 147 million), whereas long-term losses in production and income tally up to LAK 1,914.02 billion (USD 224.5 million).

The nationwide needs for the recovery process account to LAK 4,389.76 billion (USD 514 million). The sectors that were hit hardest by the disaster were transport, agriculture and waterways.

In a panel discussion moderated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Union, representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Planning and Investment, World Bank and UNDP reflected on how the recovery process should be coordinated to ensure that these needs are met in the most efficient and inclusive way possible.

Some of the key principles proposed for developing the Disaster Recovery Framework include helping communities become more resilient to climate-related disasters through the principles of Building Back Better, alignment to national goals and strategies, an inclusive approach to formulating the Framework, building permanent capacity in disaster risk management and an inclusion of other types of natural hazards than floods in order to mitigate risks.

Supported by the 8th NSEDP and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which both highlight inclusive development and the importance of leaving no one behind, the recovery strategy will put specific focus on vulnerable and disadvantaged groups such as women and children. The panel also covered questions regarding the funding of the Recovery Framework and its integration into the second half of the 8th NSEDP and the upcoming 9th NSEDP.

The existing national Round Table mechanism, consisting of 10 Sector Working Groups and 30 Sub-sector Working Groups will support the coordination of government and Development Partners around the recovery.

Examples of how disaster recovery has been conducted in other countries in the region were shared among the participants. During the discussion, panelists explored ways in which practices that have been successful abroad could be implemented in Lao PDR. There was a consensus around application of lessons learned from previous Post-Disaster Needs Assessments in Lao PDR, conducted in 2009 and 2011 respectively, following typhoons.

Source: Lao News Agency