ALTHOUGH SOME 7,538 families in Laos were lifted above the poverty line in 2016, the figure still fell short of the government’s target.
The shortfall could put more pressure on the government to strengthen its efforts and source additional funding to boost rural development and generate more income for local people.
According to the recent government report, the number of poor families declined from 83,856 in 2015 to 76,318 in 2016 which was equal to 6.56 per cent of total families in Laos.
Nevertheless, the target approved by the National Assembly was to lower the poverty rate to 6.11 per cent.
The government attributed the slower decline in the poverty rate to the country’s economic slowdown last year as well as challenges in providing facilities to the poor due to a lack of road access.
Many people still live in remote regions, making it difficult for them to sell produce and goods in markets.
The government acknowledged that Laos has seen large investment in the resource sector but this had not translated into sufficient job creation for local people.