WASHINGTON – Lao PDR is taking steps to lessen the impact of natural disasters and will continue to improve the country’s national water resources management systems, in partnership with the World Bank. The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved financing support of $30 million for the Lao PDR Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Project and $25 million of additional funding for the Mekong Integrated Water Resources Management (MIWRM) Project.

Read more: Lao PDR to Strengthen Resilience to Natural Disasters and Improve Water Resources Management


Cardinal Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun of Pakse. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

Pakse, Laos - When selecting new cardinals, Pope Francis has often sought to go to the “peripheries” of the Church, which is particularly notable in his elevation of Cardinal Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun of Paksé.

Read more: Laos' first cardinal focused on evangelization, dialogue


Children watch the river at Pak Beng. Photo courtesy of Marcus Rhinelander/International Rivers.

Activists, technical experts, and officials from other Mekong Basin countries have recently spoken out against plans to construct a mainstream dam at Pak Beng.
  • The Pak Beng Dam is the third mainstream dam planned for the lower Mekong River in Laos, where the government says hydropower development will help address poverty in the country.
  • Analysts have raised concerns over the dam's potential impacts on fisheries and other social and environmental impacts both locally and throughout the Mekong River Basin.
  • Recent criticism has come from a report commissioned by International Rivers, a regional coalition of NGOs, and technical reviews discussed at a recent meeting of the Mekong River Commission in Vietnam.

Read more: A rising chorus of voices condemns Laos’ planned Pak Beng dam


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