Swiss Ambassador to the Lao PDR, Mr Ivo Sieber hosted a reception party to mark the 727thanniversary of the Swiss National Day (1st August) in Vientiane Capital on Aug 7, 2018.
The Swiss National Day, inspired by the establishment of the Federal Charter of 1291 which is widely regarded as the foundation act of Switzerland.
Present at the ceremony were Minister of Home Affairs Khammanh Sounvileuth, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Sengphet Houngboungnuang, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Kikeo Chanthaboury, foreign ambassadors and relevant officials.
Having started with bilateral projects in the mid-1990s, the Swiss government opened in 2006 its Swiss Cooperation Office in the Lao PDR with the objective to systematically work with the Lao government to reduce poverty, empower citizens to participate in government decisions, improve public services, increase food security and access to land, and prepare the young and growing workforce for the integration into the ASEAN economic community, said Ambassador Ivo Sieber.
As a long term development partner in the country, Switzerland has contributed more than 100 million USD to the country’s efforts to graduate from the least developed country status. Today, the Swiss Cooperation Office in the Lao PDR also acts as the Mekong Regional Office from which it manages and coordinates the Swiss governmental support to Cambodia, Laos and its regional activities in all CLMV countries, said Mr Tim Enderlin, Regional Director of Cooperation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
During the opening ceremony, Swiss Ambassador Ivo Sieber and Mr Tim Enderlin, both presented their condolences on the tragic disaster caused by the damaged Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam in Attapeu province in southern Laos on Monday evening, 23 July 2018.
Echoing the sympathy and compassion conveyed by Swiss President Alain Berset in his condolences sent to Mr Boungnang Vorachit, President of the Lao PDR, Switzerland expressed its sincere sympathy to the government of the Lao PDR as well as to the victims’ families and the affected communities.
The Swiss Humanitarian Assistance has contributed Swiss Francs 300,000 (Kip 2.58 billion; US$ 300,000) towards the appeal launched by the IFRC (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies) for the affected population. Through the IFRC, the national Laotian Red Cross Society will act immediately and assist in the sectors of shelter, WASH, health and livelihoods.
Source: Lao News Agency