Belgiain Queen Mathilde visits Laos
Queen Mathilde of Belgium, who is also the Honourary President of Unicef Belgium, and Her Royal Highness's delegation is visiting Laos from February 20-23, which is in line with the Unicef cooperation framework, according to the Lao News Agency .
Yesterday, the Queen called on Vice President, Phankham Viphavanh at the Presidential Palace. Her Royal Highness also met with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Khamphao Eunthavanh and President of the Lao Women's Union Ms Inlavanh Keobounphanh.
At the talks, both sides discussed ways to deepen cooperation between Laos and Unicef, specifically the Lao government's efforts to alleviate poverty to graduate Laos from least developed country status.
It is the first visit to Laos by a member of the Belgian royal family. The Queen expressed her heartfelt thanks for the warm hospitality the Lao government and people have extended to her and her delegation. The Queen highly valued the cooperation between Unicef and Laos over the past years.
From 2012 - 2016, Unicef has carried out work programmes in Laos amounting to more than US$49 million. From 2017-2021, Unicef plans to carry out programmes totalling US$70.5 million, which will finance programmes in seven main areas of social protection, climate change and disaster response, education , health, hygienic water, nutrition, educational institute, policy and justice improvement.
During the visit, the Queen is scheduled to visit programmes jointly run by Unicef and the Lao government in southern Saravan and Champassak provinces.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update February 21, 2017)