- Health, Human Rights

More investment needed for education, health: UN official

UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ms Kanni Wignaraja has emphasized that more investment is needed for the Lao PDR’s education and health sectors to ensure young generation is ready for Laos and the world’s need.
The UN Assistant Secretary General Ms Kanni Wignaraja visited the Lao PDR early this month and met local leaders including Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone, Minister of Planning and Investment Khamjane Vongphosy, Vice President of the National Assembly Sommad Pholsena and several ministers, and representatives of civil society organisations, private sector and a group of young people.
Ms Kanni Wignaraja aimed her visit to Laos at promoting UNDP’s support for development priorities of the Southeast Asian country.
She said her discussion with the Lao side focused on more investment in education and health sector so that the country can grow a young generation that is ready not only for what Laos needs but for what the world needs, especially in term of the new skills and new aspirations of Lao young people.
“Increasing public expenditure on health and education was something that came up all the time and I hope this has strong support and I hope you also hear from the provincial people’s assemblies how important this is at the local level so that nationally there can be more budget put behind this and the quality of health and education services is strong,” Ms Kanni Wignaraja told the media.
Education enables upward socioeconomic mobility and is a key to escaping poverty, according to UNDP.
Globally, over the past decade, major progress was made towards increasing access to education and school enrollment rates at all levels, particularly for girls. Nevertheless, about 260 million children were still out of school in 2018, nearly one fifth of the global population in that age group.
Other focus of her discussion with Lao officials was how to make the public sector and public services more effective in reaching people and to make sure how the voice of people and the feedback from communities is heard through national and provincial assemblies.

Source: Lao News Agency