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Human Development Report 2014

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Human Development Report 2014: “Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience”

In the last two decades, Lao PDR has made rapid progress in human development. Life expectancy has increased by almost 20 years. A child enrolling primary school can expect to receive up to 10 years of education. The gross national income per capita has increased more than 300% since 1980. However, vulnerability threatens human development and slows down progress.

Human development strategies and policies must aim to reduce vulnerability and build resilience. Everyone should have the right to education, health care and other basic services.This requires dedicated attention and resources. Taking development a step further requires protecting achievements against vulnerability and shocks, increasing resilience and deepening progress. Show less
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Cluster Munitions Play

In Lao PDR, on average, one man, woman or child is killed or injured almost every day by UXO (unexploded ordnance), mostly by cluster munitions. UXO contamination is an ongoing development challenge in the country. There appears to be a significant correlation between the presence of UXO and prevalence of poverty. Some of the most UXO contaminated areas are also among the poorest in the country. The presence of UXO causes food shortages in affected provinces, as it limits the expansion of agricultural production and villagers' ability to achieve sustainable livelihoods.

Lao PDR is the most heavily bombed country in history, with up to 25% of the villages contaminated with Unexploded Ordnance (UXO). During the period of 1964 to 1973, over 2 million tons of ordnance, including 270 million 'bombies' i.e. cluster sub-munitions, were dropped on Laos. With an average failure rate of 30%, approximately 80 million of them remained in Laos after the war. All 17 provinces of Laos suffer from UXO contamination.

MDGs in Lao PDR Play

Playlist shows six videos related to MDGs in Lao PDR. The country has experienced many remarkable advances over the decades, with the achievement of a number of the MDG targets likely. Real GDP growth has averaged more than 7 percent during 2006 and 2007. Poverty declined steadily from 46 to 26.9 percent according to the latest figures, and the country is on track to achieve the MDG target of halving poverty by 2015.

Despite progress work must be accelerated to ensure that all the MDGs can be met and that everyone can share in the nation's development. There has, for example, been little reduction in child malnutrition since 1990. Despite considerable efforts, 38 percent of children under five years of age are underweight and 41 percent suffer from chronic malnutrition. Maternal mortality rates at 405 per 100,000 live births are among the highest in the region.

In a special challenge to Lao PDR, the ever-present threat of unexploded ordnance (UXO) continues to destroy lives and hinder development. There is a strong correlation across the country between poverty and the presence of UXO and clearance is a precondition for the achievement of the MDGs.

United Nations Play

UNDP working in Lao PDR is part of the UN country team, consisting of various UN agencies working in the country.
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