Enough of Begging and Expecting Donations

I read this article earlier this morning and it is disturbing to see that Laos continue to seek $15 billion dollars from donors in the next five years.  All these years money has been pouring into Laos and yet not much has changes.  Yet, the poor people in Laos continue to suffers.  No one project in Laos is fully funded by its own government.  All the projects are mostly funded by the Koreans, Japaneses, Vietnamese and other countries.  One could only ask, where did all those money that been pouring into Laos for the past 10 years went to?  Few years back, most of the donors would just handed over the funds and let the Laos government build the infrastructures.  Most of the infrastructures was build sub-standards and portion of project funds are in someone else pockets.  Now, all the countries that helps fund the project would bring their own people to over see the works and handling the funds.  It is gotten better but the corruption is still there, it is like bad disease that you can’t get rid off.  Which is sad to see.

Wow! Let’s hope I wont be getting in trouble by voicing my opinions.  I just feel like the Lao Government is exploiting the poor people of Laos.  Most of the poor folks out in the country side will not even get a dime out of a dollar.  The poor folks will continue to suffer and all the high ranking officials will continue to prosper, thanks to all countries that continue to donate money to Laos.  So most of them can send their kids to school in U.S. and other countries.

Well, enough of my ranting for today.  Here is the link of the article I read earlier.


Laos needs 15 billion dollars for next five-year plan, report says

Oct 12, 2010, 7:17 GMT

Vientiane, Laos – Laos will require 15 billion dollars to finance its next five-year development plan in 2012-16, of which 26 per cent is expected to come from foreign donors, media reports said Tuesday.

Laos’ goals for the plan are to be discussed next week between 300 government officials

and 80 representatives of international aid agencies, the Vientiane Times reported.

The meeting was to be co-chaired by Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh and the head of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Helen Clark, Minister of Planning and Investment Sinlavong Khouthphaythoune told a press conference Monday.

Laos was to present its development goals and projects for the five-year plan at the meeting.

UNDP Laos representative Sonam Yangchen Rana said the communist state would need an estimated 127 trillion kip (15 billion dollars) to implement the plan.

Around 26 per cent of the funds were expected come from official development assistance, another 50 to 60 per cent from foreign direct investment, 10 per cent from domestic credit and 10 per cent from the government.

Laos, which opted for a communist system in 1975, is ranked as one of the world’s poorest nations. Foreign aid has financed on average more than 50 per cent of its annual budget for decades, but that proportion has been declining steadily in recent years according to estimates.

Between 2006 to 2010, Laos received overseas aid for 2,251 projects amounting to 2.4 billion dollars, according to a report from the Ministry of Planning and Investment.


8 thoughts on “Enough of Begging and Expecting Donations

  1. Nye

    Lets hope you don’t plan to visit Laos soon. 🙂

    I do feel sad seeing that progress is extremely slow, must be the Lao time. When I was visiting my aunt in Paksan, the Vietnamese were paving the roads and it was their people that they brought in to do the manual labors. We just sit back and watch.

    1. seeharhed Post author

      Well, few months ago I had a plan to go back visit Laos in December. Now, the trip will have to be put on hold for awhile til I save up enough vacation money. Due to an unexpected trip to France in late summer.

      Most of the foreigner donors would brings in their own contractors and workers. Because the Lao contractors would takes too many short cuts during the construction stages and pocket the materials fund. For example: the engineer plan call for 250 mm Asphalt Concrete on top 100 mm crushed rocks. Lao contractors would only put down about 125 mm of Asphalt Concrete and about 50 mm of crushed rocks. They would turn around sell the unused portion of materials and pocket the cash. It is been a common practices in Laos for many years.

  2. Dallas

    There was a team of Vietnamese construction workers yapping away in front of a temple I was visiting in Vientiane. It is the temple with a huge bird (a stork?) standing on some ruined stupa. I forgot the name now. It must be important since there were many bus full of Thai tourists stopping by for worship.
    Maybe those people are doing the job Laotians will not do? It is too labor intensive.

    I don’t blame those companies wanting to do that. There are just way too many greedy Laotians than those people who care how it will effect Laos and other Laotians. (Anousavaly/Patouxat ring a bell?) HaHaHa! I don’t look at that with pride but with shame instead. That is another story. I better stop “ranting” too.

    1. seeharhed Post author

      Yea, there are so many projects that I can keep on going. The biggest one of all is the SEA Games Main Stadium deal with the Chinese. Since the Lao Government didn’t want to fork out the cash and no man power to build the stadium, they did a backdoor deal with the Chinese.

      I can go on and on about this…

  3. salalao

    That is so true. When I was building my house, I was told to count every brick, concret bag, support beam, roofing, floors, tiles and nails I can go on with the list you must hand it to the worker daily and only what they need for the day no more no less other than that they would taken from the construction and sale it.
    I even have to inspected every pieces of material I bought and made sure they are exactly what I ordered. It was the most frustrating thing I have ever encounter. I thought building house in the U.S was a headache multiple that by one thousand time.

    1. seeharhed Post author

      salalao – That’s why you want somebody you can trust to handle contracting works. The construction processes are totally different comparing Laos style vs. U.S.. I much prefer the U.S., a lot less headache.

  4. Cambree

    This is a good post. I hope it brings more light to the subject.

    It’s such a shame to see money being misused while the people suffer. I hope Laos will improve for the better, at least in my lifetime.


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