- Health

Laos, India sign MoU for Quick Impact Project

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] for one Quick Impact Project (QIP), with grant assistance of US$50,000 from Government of India, took place on Dec 10 at the premises of Lao Front for National Development, Vientiane.

Mr. Khampheuy Boutdavieng, Member, Central Committee of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and Vice President of the Lao Front for National Development presided over the ceremony.

Most Venerable Vet Masenai, Vice President of Luang Prabang Buddhist Fellowship Organization, Most Venerable Onkeo Sitthivong, Chair of Luang Prabang Buddhist Fellowship Office, monks from Lao Buddhist Fellowship Organisation, Mrs. Khamchan Phomsengsavanh and Dr. Chanpheng Southivong, Vice Presidents, Lao Front for National Development, also graced the occasion.

The project is for the setting up of a drinking water facility at the school in Pha Oh Temple, Pha Oh Village, Luang Prabang Province. The project will make clean drinking water available to about 500 students of the school, teachers and to many villagers living close to the school.

The grant assistance is being extended through Government of India’s QIPscheme under the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) framework. The MGC is an initiative by six countries – India and five ASEAN countries, namely, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam for cooperation in tourism, culture, education, as well as transport and communications.

QIPs are projects with a short gestation period that directly benefit local communities, with results that are immediate and visible, and which contribute significantly to economic and social development and improvement of public welfare.

MoUs for three Quick Impact Projects, each with provision of grant assistance of US $ 50,000 in the field of agriculture, were signed in October 2017, of which the project on ‘Establishment of Fertilizer Analysis Laboratory’ at Department of Agricultural Land Management has been completed and handed over to the beneficiary department of Lao government. The remaining two projects are at an advanced stage of implementation.

In August 2021, MoUs for three more projects under the QIP scheme were also signed. Two projects are for the construction of buildings for primary schools in remote villages (Kewxang & Nakheng) in Luang Prabang and the third project is for the construction of a 5-room dormitory at the Lao-India Entrepreneurship Development Centre in Vientiane for which the ground breaking ceremony took place recently on Nov 26, 2021.

The Ambassador observed that India and the Lao PDR share long-standing religious, cultural, and people-to-people linkages going back long into history. Diplomatic relations between the countries, as modern sovereign nation-states, were established in 1956, and they have exchanged several high-level visits over the decades.

This year, Lao PDR and India are also celebrating the 65th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations. Relations between India and the Lao PDR are based on respect for national sovereignty and mutual benefit in pursuit of development and upliftment of the peoples of the two countries.

India’s development cooperation portfolio in the Lao PDR stretches across a broad spectrum—capacity building through Indian Technical and Economic (ITEC) Programme and long-term scholarships for higher studies, Quick Impact Projects for socio-economic development under grant assistance, projects under lines of credit or soft loans, joint Lao-India centres for Entrepreneurship development and English language training as well as heritage conservation projects, including restoration of a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Vat Phou (originally, a Shiva temple), by experts from the Archaeological Survey of India deputed under the ITEC Programme.

Ambassador mentioned, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi reiterated India’s commitment to continue its development partnership with the Lao PDR in a telephonic conversation with the then Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith in June 2020.

The Ambassador also expressed happiness that the MoU was being signed at a time when India is celebrating the “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” (Immortal Festival of India’s independence) to commemorate 75 years of progressive India and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements. The “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” was officially launched on 12th March 2021, marking a 75 week countdown to the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence (Aug 15, 2022) and will end a year later, i.e. on Aug 15, 2023.

Khamphery Boutdavieng, Member, Central Committee of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and Vice President, Lao Front for National Development, Vientiane thanked the Government of India for providing assistance for implementation of the project.

Source: Lao News Agency