UNDP in Lao PDR works with the Government to build on the impressive progress in economic growth and poverty reduction that has been made over the past two decades. The proportion of poor people has dropped from 46 percent in 1992 to 23 percent of the population in 2015, and annual growth rates are above 7%.
However, these achievements have been accompanied by widening gaps between rich and poor, women and men, ethnic groups, and residents of different regions of the country. Poverty and near-poverty remain widespread in rural areas, standing at nearly three times the rate of that in urban areas. Ensuring that growth is achieved with equity and benefits poor people is central to UNDP’s role in assisting the country in a smooth graduation from Least Developed Country status.