New photo competition ‘Laos in Focus’ launched

WHO and UNICEF work to save 50 000 newborn babies each year in the Western Pacific Region

The birth of a baby is a cause for much hope and joy for families across this Region. However, for far too many, the happiness is short-lived as a newborn infant dies every two minutes in the Region. While there has been steady progress in the past two decades, much remains to be done to lower the number of deaths among newborn children.

“We are literally talking about the future of the Region,” said Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, “No expensive high-tech solutions are needed. We can save 50 000 newborn lives every year by simply changing basic practices.”

New photo competition ‘Laos in Focus’ launched

UN, ADB talks in Laos on sustaining development gains in South-East Asia

Bangkok (ESCAP News) – Shaping a post-2015 development agenda in South-East Asia was the focus of joint United Nations and Asia Development Bank (ADB) talks in Vientiane, Laos this week as senior officials from nine countries, representatives of regional and sub-regional organizations, civil society and private sector organizations gathered to discuss progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the development priorities of the sub-region.

New photo competition ‘Laos in Focus’ launched

New UNFPA Representative presents credentials to Lao Government

17 June, 2014, Vientiane.- Mr. Hassan Mohtashami, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) new Country Representative, presented his letter of credential to Mr. Alounkeo Kittikhoun, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR, on behalf of the Government of Lao PDR.

Mr. Mohtashami, a national of Iran, is a medical doctor, with specialty in psychiatry and post-graduate training in Population Leadership. He has earned over 23 years of health management and administration experience at district, national and international levels and started his career in his home country of Iran as District Health Director, World Bank Project Manager, and then CEO of Family Planning Association. Prior to joining UNFPA, he served as World Health Organization Advisor in Afghanistan. He has served UNFPA since 2004 as Deputy Representative in Sudan and Uganda and recently as Representative in Swaziland. 

New photo competition ‘Laos in Focus’ launched

Safe blood for saving mothers

Countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day on 14 June every year.  This raises awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank the voluntary unpaid blood donor for their live-saving gift of blood.

Blood transfusion saves lives and improves health.  A single unit of blood can benefit several patients by separating blood into its various components which allows a single unit of blood to benefit several patients and provides a patient only the blood component which is needed.

The focus for this year’s campaign, “Safe blood for saving mothers” hopes to raise awareness about why timely access to safe blood and blood products is essential for all countries as part of an approach to prevent maternal deaths.

Motherhood is often viewed as a positive and fulfilling experience for many women.  However for some, it can be associated with suffering, ill-health and even death. 

New photo competition ‘Laos in Focus’ launched

United Nations Resident Coordinator Presents Credentials to the Deputy Prime Minister

18 June 2014,

Vientiane Capital - United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Ms. Kaarina Immonen, presented her credentials to the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 18 June, 2014. 

“The United Nations and the Lao PDR have a long history of successful cooperation, and I feel privileged to be part of the continuation of this strong relationship, particularly at this crucial stage of the country’s development.” Ms. Immonen said.

New photo competition ‘Laos in Focus’ launched

Public-Private Child Nutrition Partnership Develops Lao ‘Superkids’

Savannakhet, Lao PDR – 10 June 2014:

Public and private sector partners united in Savannakhet Province in the Lao PDR today to kick-start the ‘1000 Day Project.’  This important initiative targets child nutrition in three provinces (Savannakhet, Saravan, and Attapeu) and sets the stage for further expansion across Lao PDR.

Poor nutrition causes over one-third of child deaths globally.  Chronic malnutrition affects more than 40 per cent of Lao children under five years old.  The first 1,000 days of a child’s life are critically important in preventing nutrition related diseases.  

The Lao Ministry of Health, MMG Limited, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Lao Women’s Union (LWU), and Population Services International (PSI) have joined forces with community volunteers to distribute millions of micro-nutrient sachets to Lao mothers.  The University of British Columbia conducted research to successfully deploy the project.

New photo competition ‘Laos in Focus’ launched

Global Midwifery Report featuring Laos, launched in Prague

June 13, 2014

UNFPA– PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - A report released today by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund together with the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners reveals that major deficits in the midwifery workforce occur in 73 countries where these services are most desperately needed. The report recommends new strategies to address these deficits and save millions of lives of women and newborns.

New photo competition ‘Laos in Focus’ launched

Mission: inclusive and sustainable industrial development

UNIDO aspires to reduce poverty through inclusive and sustainable industrial development. All countries should have the opportunity to grow a flourishing productive sector, to increase their participation in international trade and to safeguard their environment.
Inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) means that:
- Every country achieves a higher level of industrialization in their economies, and benefits from the globalization of markets for industrial goods and services.
- No one is left behind in benefiting from industrial growth, and prosperity is shared among women and men in all countries.
- Broader economic and social growth is supported within an environmentally sustainable framework.
- Unique knowledge and resources are combined of all relevant development actors to maximize the development impact of ISID.

New photo competition ‘Laos in Focus’ launched

WHO calls on governments to raise tobacco taxes

May 27, 2014

On World No Tobacco Day (31 May), the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Western Pacific Region urges governments to raise taxes on tobacco products. Two people die each minute from tobacco-related diseases in the Region, which is home to one-third of the world’s smokers.

“Increasing the price of tobacco products through taxation is a win-win situation. It promotes health by discouraging people to take up this deadly habit and it also increases revenues which can be channelled towards initiatives for health or social welfare,” noted Dr Susan Mercado, Director, Building Healthy Communities and Populations, Western Pacific Region, during the opening of a regional workshop on tobacco taxation and illicit trade organized by Southeast Asian Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) and hosted by the WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific in Manila last week. “The only ones that lose are the tobacco companies,” Dr Mercado added.

New photo competition ‘Laos in Focus’ launched

Outgoing UN Resident Coordinator: Impressive achievements in development

May 23, 2014

Vientiane, Lao PDR has demonstrated impressive achievements in development over the last few years, says the United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative Minh Pham.

Mr. Pham, who is due to end his tenure of three years as the head of the UN in Lao PDR this month, said he felt “very privileged to have served here and developed such warm and genuine friendships”.

In his farewell remarks he thanked the Government of Lao PDR for their efforts to advance a common development agenda. “I wish the country will continue this positive trajectory for the benefit of all”, he added.

Condolence Letter from UNRC Minh Pham

May 19, 2014

UN- Excellency,

Subject:  Crash of Lao Air Force flight

On behalf of the United Nations in Lao PDR, please allow me to express my condolences to the Government of Lao PDR on the loss of such valued members of the Government in the crash of the Lao Air Force flight on Saturday morning. As many of those who lost their lives were close colleagues of the United Nations, we join you in mourning their passing. We also extend our condolences to the families of all those killed in this tragedy.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurance of my highest consideration. 

Laos in Focus Photo exhibition in Luang Prabang

May 7, 2014

In 2013, a photo competition “Laos in Focus – picturing the MDGs” was launched by the United Nations and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Lao people. The aim was to invite them to reflect on development issues in their country from the point of view of the MDGs. A selection of photographs submitted to the contest were selected for an exhibition "Laos in Focus - development through the people's eyes" held first at the High-level Round Table Meeting 2013, followed by a public exhibition at the I-cat gallery in Vientiane.

The exhibition is now on display at the French Institute in Luang Prabang. It will stay open until 24 July. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 8-12am and 2-8pm and on Saturdays 9am-5pm. Entry is free.

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