UNICEF Regional Director for East Asia and Pacific, Ms. Debora Comini, officially commenced her visit to the Lao PDR on Oct 24 with a courtesy call to Ms. Phonevanh Outhavong, Vice Minister of Planning and Investment, thus marking her first visit to the country as Regional Director.
Ms. Comini’s is visiting Lao PDR to take part in the UNICEF Regional Management Team Meeting, which gathers regional leaders to discuss the situation of children and effective ways to achieve results for children. The meeting is being hosted by the Lao PDR this year and as part of her mission to the Lao PDR, Ms. Comini is meeting with several senior government figures in the country, including Ms. Outhavong.
During their meeting, Ms. Outhavong welcomed Ms. Comini to the Lao PDR and expressed her appreciation to UNICEF for their continued support in developing Lao PDR’s human capital, while reiterating its importance to the Lao PDR’s planned graduation from Least Developed Country (LDC) status by 2026.
“Improving the lives of children is crucial in unlocking the potential of Lao PDR’s human capital. We thank UNICEF for their support in addressing the most pressing issues children face, from the current learning crisis to other challenges related to health and nutrition required for children to thrive,” remarked Ms. Outhavong.
The UNICEF Regional Director also expressed her thanks to the Vice Minister for the cordial reception. She further thanked the Ministry of Planning and Investment for its collaboration with UNICEF in developing the new Country Programme Document between the two parties, which establishes the priority areas of work between the Government of the Lao PDR and UNICEF from 2022 to 2026.
“The Lao PDR has made steady progress in meeting the Human Development Indicators, including those linked to education, which has set the stage for the Lao PDR’s graduation from LDC status. UNICEF remains committed to working side-by-side with the Lao Government to further develop the country’s human capital, equipping Lao children with the necessary knowledge and skills to fulfill their potential and to support the recovery of lost gains for children during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ms. Comini.
Ms. Comini was appointed as UNICEF Regional Director for East Asia and Pacific on 3 November 2021. Prior to taking up this post, she also held several senior positions, including in Indonesia, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Source: Lao News Agency