1960sPartnership BeginsLao PDR joins the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), also known as the World Bank. A year later, the World Bank conducts its first fact-finding mission to Lao PDR to assess the economic situation and prospects.
1960sDiscovering PotentialAccess to electricity is a foundation for development, not only in Lao PDR, but for the entire Lower Mekong Basin. On May 1966, 9 countries and the World Bank set up the Nam Ngum Development Fund. Once finalized, the project would supply the domestic market with electricity and export the remainder.
1970sImproving LivelihoodsUnder the International Development Association's (IDA) Agriculture Rehabilitation and Development Project, 10,000 rural poor farming families benefit from irrigation and rice cultivation training. Its success ushers a second phase, making services and agricultural advice more accessible.
1980sPowering the CountrysideThe Southern Provinces Electrification Project marks the beginning of expanding rural electrification. The project creates infrastructure for power transmission and supplies electricity, improving the quality of life in the south.
1980sDevelopment ExpandsDevelopment projects grow in scope and geographical area. Through IDA, the telecommunications system is rehabilitated; Route 13, a critical section of the north-south highway is repaired; the light industry expands; and more engineers are trained at the National Polytechnic Institute.
1980sEmbracing SustainabilityThe Forest Management and Conservation Project supports forest dwellers conserve natural resources and find sustainable livelihoods. The Land Titling Project, prompting the registration of more than a quarter million parcels of land, improves tenure security and the use of land as a collateral.
1990sConnecting PeopleThe First, Second, and Third Highway Improvement Projects drastically cut travel time on the 266 km journey from north to south. This makes it easier for poor rural farmers to bring their harvest to markets, thereby improving living standards and gradually integrating villagers into the national economy.
2000sEmbarking on Nam Theun 2On March 2005, Nam Theun 2, one of the world's largest private sector cross-border hydropower projects, is approved. It is expected to generate US$2 billion for the Government to invest in education, health, infrastructure and environmental protection, contributing to poverty reduction in Lao PDR.
2000sEnhancing Health ServicesThe Health Services Improvement Project provides funding for rehabilitating health centers, training health workers, and financing health services. In 2006, the World Bank assists the government in combating avian flu through community awareness campaigns and compensating farmers for loss of poultry.
2000sImproving Access and Quality of EducationWhile education funding increased over the past decade, the gap between needs and resources remains large. The Education for All - Fast Track Initiative aims to train teachers and communities to improve the quality of teaching, provide a better learning environment, and build or renovate more than 1500 schools.
2010sLooking AheadThe government lays out its 7th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (2011-2015), calling for robust economic growth, poverty reduction, human resource development, and reaching the Millennium Development Goals. The World Bank is developing its next five-year Country Partnership Strategy to support this.