The UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) will continue its support for governance and administration reform (GPAR) in Laos through cooperation with the new Ministry of Home Affairs.
UNCDF Asia-Pacific Regional Office Head Mr David Jackson made the vow of commitment during a call on Minister of Home Affairs Khampane Philavong yesterday at the ministry’s office in Vientiane. “I hope we can push forward new projects and expand them to the district level in 2012,” Mr Jackson said.
Mr Jackson expressed his satisfaction at the success of GPAR projects in the country, adding that all involved have actively contributed to the projects.
UNCDF has been an active development partner of the former Public Administration and Civil Service Authority (PACSA) on GPAR in the country for a number of years.
Mr Khampane expressed his thanks to the UN agency and all donors of the projects.
Due to an increase in work, the PACSA was upgraded to the Ministry of Home Affairs, which covers the affairs of public administration and civil services, geography, documental collection, religion, ethnography and citizen management.
According to Mr Khampane, the ministry this year plans to lay the foundations for this work, including building the capacity of local authorities, especially at the district level. He said district authorities will be trained to have comprehensive capacity, including financial management, but the government can only provide 30 percent of the required funds for the project.
The minister said he would like for international organisations and friendly countries to understand the objectives of the ministry’s establishment and lend support towards its development.
Mr Jackson said the new ministry will face many challenges, explaining that without a focus on capacity building, local authorities will not be able to answer the public’s questions on what the government can do for them.
He said UNCDF has experience and technical skills in capacity building for local authorities, and will do all it can to mobilise funding for the project.
He added that as Laos is a United Nations member, UNCDF will do its best to assist the country.