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SWISS COOPERATION

CONTACT INFO:

Swiss Cooperation Office for Cambodia
House 50, Street 334,
Sangkat Boeng Keng Kang I / Khan Chamkarmon,
P.O.Box 605,Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel: +855 23 21 83 05 / 21 82 09
Fax: +855 23 21 80 63
E-mail: phnompenh@eda.admin.ch

Swiss Cooperation Office for the Mekong Region and Lao PDR
192/1 Sibounheuang Road,
Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR
Tel: +856 21 251 794
Fax: +856 21 251 797
Email: vientiane@eda.admin.ch

Swiss Cooperation Office for Myanmar
No. 11, Kabaung Lane, 5 1/2 mile Pyay Road,
Hlaing Township Yangon, Myanmar
Tel : +95 (0) 1 512873 ,+95 (0) 1 507089 , ext. 19
Fax:+95 (0) 1 534754
E-mail: ygn.vertretung@eda.admin.ch

Swiss Cooperation Office for Vietnam (SDC/SECO)
16th Floor, Hanoi Central Office Building,
44B Ly Thuong Kiet Street,
Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: +84 4 3934 6627
Fax: +84 4 3934 6633
Email: hanoi@eda.admin.ch

Country

Switzerland supports Agriculture and Forestry college reform – Lao PDR

2017-03-07
Switzerland supports Agriculture and Forestry college reform Switzerland provides USD 5.1 million to third phase of the project for the Support to the Reform of the Agriculture and Forestry Colleges in Lao PDR (SURAFCO). A respective agreement was signed by H.E. Dr. Phouang Parisak Pravongviengkham, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry and Mr. Tim Enderlin, Director of Cooperation for the Mekong Region of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The renewed funding contributes to the development of skilled human resources needed to promote the modernisation of the agricultural and forestry sector in Lao PDR. The overall goal of SURAFCO is to strengthen the quality and practical teaching in all five Agriculture and Forestry Colleges of Lao PDR. The colleges will focus on improving skills based education, management of the colleges, campus infrastructure, updating the teaching equipment, facilitating the knowledge sharing and exchange events. Technical support to implement the project is provided by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation. The contribution to the Reform Strategy of the Government of Laos will increase the number of qualified agricultural and extension workers in the public sector, employees in the private sector, self-employed farmers and entrepreneurs who can accompany the transition from a subsistence-based to a market-based agriculture. H.E. Dr. Phouang Parisak said, “This project has allowed the country to move towards a commercial based agriculture system and provides the quality of human resources needed by the public and private agricultural sectors”. The SURAFCO project has transformed the Northern Agriculture and Forestry College in Luang Prabang into a centre of excellence for relevant upland agriculture education. The five Agriculture and Forestry Colleges nationwide have benefited from the experience and are now using the same skill-based and student-centered curriculum. The nationally revised curriculum consists of 60% practical teaching and 40% theory, for a higher diploma. 80% of graduates from the first two project phases have either found employment or are self-employed within 1-2 years after their graduation. Feedback from employers from public and private sectors indicate that the education is seen as relevant and that graduates are capable to quickly put their learnings into practice. Tim Enderlin said, “The SURAFCO projectresponds to the needs of the marginalized rural poor communities and contributes to the country’s efforts to reduce poverty, especially women and men from ethnic groups”. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is Switzerland’s public agency for social and economic development in developing nations. In the Mekong Region, SDC’s focus countries are Cambodia and Lao PDR (CL). Switzerland contributes to reducing poverty, to supporting equitable and sustainable development, and to fostering democratic governance. It strengthens CL governments and non-government actors in their aim to become equal and empowered partners in the ASEAN Community. SDC has a regional office in Lao PDR since 2006, from which it manages and implements Swiss support in response to the needs of the marginalized rural poor and contributes to the country’s long term goal to graduate from the group of Least Developed Countries.     ລັດຖະບານ ສະວິດເຊີແລນ ສະໜັບສະໜູນການປະຕິຮູບວິທະຍາໄລກະສິກຳປ່າໄມ້ທົ່ວປະເທດ ລັດຖະບານ

Switzerland opens funds for cultural expressions in Lao PDR

2017-02-24
Press Release – Vientiane, 24 February, 2017 Vientiane, 24th February, 2017 – The Government of Switzerland in partnership with Sisanchai Sole Co., Ltd., has launched a call for the Lao Culture Challenge Fund(LCCF) cycle 3, open to the public. The LCCF will provide funding opportunities and training for organizations, business or civil society to promote cultural expressions in the Lao PDR under the theme, from Lao, for Lao. Application deadline is by 17th April, 2017. Switzerland has a policy that 1% of the overall budget must be spent on the promotion of culture. This policy applies to the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation’s (SDC) program budget in Lao PDR, currently 18 million USD per annual for 2017-2021. “The Lao Culture Challenge Fund is a re-occurring fund that is open to organizations, businesses or groups related to the creation, production and dissemination of cultural goods that enable large populations to take part in cultural life in Laos”, Tim Enderlin, SDC Director of Cooperation, Mekong Region. The LCCF will support civil organizations promoting cultural activities through 2 main approaches, financial grants and training. This fund encourages cultural expression and strengthens cultural identity, at local and national level, and it enables citizens to increase their role in society. Support for culture also develops social cohesion within civil society, and it contributes to the richness and diversity of an already vibrant local life in Lao PDR. Application writing workshops will be provided in the provinces throughout Lao PDR for interested organizations that seek advice and guidance on the application writing requirements. Sisanchai will facilitate these events in March till April 2017. Through two cycles of the LCCF, Switzerland could support 20 different organizations to develop their cultural activities and to strengthen their institutional capacities. The third cycle of the LCCF is planned for 18 months (2017-2018) with a total budget of 250,000 USD available and accessible to all provinces throughout Laos PDR. Sisanchai Sole Co., Ltd., takes on the role of an information/communication hub, guides for the application and proposal process, training organizers and monitoring of activities and funding implementers of small project proposals. ງານຖະແຫຼ່ງຂ່າວ ນະຄອນຫຼວງວຽງຈັນ, ວັນທີ່24 ກຸມພາ 2017 ນະຄອນຫຼວງວຽງຈັນ, ວັນທີ່24 ກຸມພາ 2017 – ລັດຖະບານ ປະເທດສະວີດເຊິແລນ ຮ່ວມກັບ ບໍລິສັດສີສັນໃຈ ຈຳກັດຜູ້ດຽວ, ໄດ້ເປີດໂຕ ກອງທຶນເພື່ອການສົ່ງເສີມວັດທະນະທຳລາວ (LCCF)  ຄັ້ງທີ່ 3, ເພື່ອໃຫ້ອົງກອນຕ່າງໆເຂົ້າມາສະໝັກ. ກອງທຶນນີ້ສະໜອງ ການສະໜັບສະໜູນ ທາງດ້ານທຶນຮອນ ແລະ ທາງດ້ານການຝຶກອົບຮົມ ໃຫ້ກັບອົງກອນ, ທຸລະກິດ, ສະມາຄົມ ຫຼື ສັງຄົມພົນລະເຮືອນ ເພື່ອສົ່ງເສີ່ມ ການສະແດງອອກທາງດ້ານວັດທະນະທຳ ໃນ ສປປ. ລາວ ພາຍໃຕ້ຫົວຂໍ້ “ຈາກປະເທດລາວ, ສຳລັບປະເທດລາວ”. ການຮັບສະໝັກຈະປິດ ວັນທີ່ 17 ເມສາ 2017. ປະເທດ ສະວິດເຊິແລນ ມີນະໂຍບາຍ ໃຫ້ 1% ຂອງງົບປະມານຊ່ວຍເຫຼືອທັງໝົດ ແນ່ໃສ່ສະໜັບສະໜູນການສົ່ງເສີມທາງດ້ານວັດທະນະທຳ. ຫ້ອງການເພື່ອການພັດທະນາ ແລະ ຮ່ວມມື ແຫ່ງປະເທດສະວີດເຊິແລນ (SDC)  ເປັນອົງກອນທີ່ຮັບຜິດຊອບ ການປະຕິບັດນະໂຍບາຍດັ່ງກ່າວ ໃນປະເທດລາວ ເຊິ່ງ ງົບປະມານຊ່ວຍເຫຼືອທັງໝົດນີ້ ມີມູນຄ່າ ເທົ່າ 18 ລ້ານໂດລາ ສໍາລັບປີ 2017 – 2021. “ກອງທຶນເພື່ອການສົ່ງເສີມວັດທະນະທຳລາວ ເປັນກອງທຶນ ສຳລັບ ອົງກອນ, ທຸລະກິດ ແລະ ກຸ່ມ ທີ່ກ່ຽວພັນກັບ ການປະດິດຄິດແຕ່ງ, ການຜະລິດ ແລະການກະຈ່າຍເຜີຍແຜ່ ຜະລິດຕະພັນຜົນງານ ທາງດ້ານສີລະປະວັດທະນະທຳ ເຊິ່ງໃຫ້ໂອກາດສັງຄົມໃຫ້ມີສ່ວນຮ່ວມໃນສີລະປະວັດທະນະທຳ ໃນສປປ ລາວ.” ທ່ານ Tim Enderlin, ອຳນວຍການຫ້ອງການ SDC ປະຈໍາ ສປປ ລາວ, ລັດຖະບານ ປະເທດສະວີດເຊິແລນ. ກອງທຶນ LCCF ສະໜັບສະໜູນ ອົງກອນຈັດຕັ້ງຕ່າງໆ ຜ່ານ 2 ຮູບແບບຫຼັກ ກໍ່ຄືທາງດ້ານທຶນຮອນແລະການຝຶກອົບຮົມ. ກອງທຶນນີ້ ສົ່ງເສີ່ມການສະແດງອອກທາງດ້ານວັດທະນະທຳ ແລະ ການສ້າງ ຄວາມເປັນເອກກະລັກທາງດ້ານວັດທະນະທຳ, ໃນລະດັບທ້ອງຖິ່ນແລະຊາດ ພ້ອມທັງ ສ້າງໂອກາດ ໃຫ້ ພົນລະເມືອງ ຂະຫຍາຍບົດບາດຂອງຕົນເອງໃນສັງຄົມ. ການສະໜັບສະໜູນວັດທະນະທຳ ຊ່ວຍສົ່ງເສີ່ມພັດທະນາ ຄວາມປອງດອງພາຍໃນສັງຄົມ ແລະ ມີສ່ວນຮ່ວມໃນການສ້າງຄວາມຫຼາກຫຼາຍແລະອຸດົມສົມບູນ  ໃຫ້ກັບສັງຄົມລາວ. ການຝຶກອົບຮົມຂຽນຂໍທຶນຈະໄດ້ຮັບການຈັດຂື້ນ ຢູ່ຕ່າງແຂວງ ສຳລັບອົງກອນທີ່ສົນໃຈລົງສະໝັກ ແລະຕ້ອງການຄຳແນະນຳໃນການປະກອບແບບສະໝັກ. ບໍລິສັດ ສີສັນໃຈ ຈະຈັດຕັ້ງງານດັ່ງກ່າວໃນເດືອນມີນາ ຈົນຮອດ ເມສາ2017. ຜ່ານ ກອງທຶນເພື່ອການສົ່ງເສີມວັດທະນະທຳລາວ 2 ຄັ້ງ, ປະເທດສະວີດເຊິແລນ ໄດ້ສົ່ງເສີ່ມສະໜັບສະໜູນ ອົງກອນ 20ອົງກອນ ໃນການພັດທະນາ ການເຄື່ອນໄຫວທາງວັດທະນະທຳ ແລະສ້າງຄວາມເຂັ້ມແຂງ ໃຫ້ກັບບຸກຄະລະກອນພາຍໃນອົງກອນ. ກອງທຶນເພື່ອການສົ່ງເສີມວັດທະນະທຳລາວ ຄັ້ງທີ່ 3 ຈະສະໜັບສະໜູບ ອົງກອນສຳລັບ18ເດືອນ (2017-2018) ໂດຍມີງົບປະມານທັງໝົດ 250,000

Pka Sla event on forced marriage under the Khmer Rouge regime in Phnom Penh

2017-02-22
On 20 January 2017, the Pka Sla project premiered to the public a deeply moving performance at Chaktomuk Hall in Phnom Penh. Pka Sla’s dance performance and exhibition on forced marriage under the Khmer Rouge regime are part of a unique judicial and human experience for survivors: symbolic reparation, healing and reconciliation, through art. The Pka Sla project is the only proposed judicial reparation initiative that addresses the harm suffered by Cambodian women and men as a result of forced marriages and makes the ECCC’s historic hearings on sexual and gender-based violence under the Khmer Rouge regime accessible to a broader public. Many civils parties, their relatives, youth groups, and the general public attended these impressive performances at three consecutive evenings. The objective of Pka Sla project is to foster the understanding of gender based violence and gender equity through artistic memorialization, intergenerational dialogue, documentation and research, and therapeutic support. The main beneficiaries are victims of crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge Regime, who decided to become civil parties at the ECCC. The project is offering them – be it through the exhibition, the dance performance or the panel dialogue – a unique opportunity to share their stories with the younger generation. “Art can help ease the suffering of the survivors. Only art can convey the suffering of the victims to everyone and allow healing to begin,” Dy Chhunsong, reparations program manager at the ECCC stated to the press. Pka Sla project is implemented by a consortium of four local NGOs, Khmer Arts Academy, Kdei Karuna, Transcultural Psychosocial Organization and Bophana Center in close consultation with over 100 civil parties. The project is supported by the Government of Switzerland through the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in Cambodia and the German Government in partnership with USAID. To reach a broader audience and to promote dialogue and healing, the dance performance and mobile exhibition of Pka Sla will tour in the provinces, starting with Battambang this May and Kampot in August. A documentary on the whole Pka Sla project will be broadcasted on national television in 2018.Panel discussion with TPO, civil parties, KdK and Sophiline  

Short Vocational Training Courses in Northern Lao PDR

2017-02-16
One of the more enriching parts of working with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is when we get to leave the office and visit the project activities to talk to the project implementer and beneficiaries that our hard work is supposed to help and lift out of poverty. In Laos, we have several projects under the category, Technical Vocational Education and Training. One of the first projects in this portfolio was the Vocational Education and Training Laos (VELA) project, co-financed by Switzerland and Germany, implemented by GIZ, started in 2013. The VELA project aims to ensure that Lao youth, particularly disadvantaged groups, have access to quality vocational education and training and that the Lao education system is able to meet the quantitative and qualitative needs of the Lao labor market now and in the future. In other words, people have access to quality education, can obtain a high level of skills, and can find and keep well-paid jobs. Especially Lao youth, particularly from marginalized groups such as ethnic minorities and women. This past winter, a team of SDC collaborators were able to visit two Vocational Colleges in the Northern provinces of Phongsaly and Oudomxay, where short 6 week courses were provided to Lao youth that have either dropped out or left school before grade 5, known as C1 courses. For various reasons, they left school at a very young age and most are unable to re-enter the formal school systems. Resulting in a life dependent on unskilled low wage labor and most often in poverty for the rest of their lives. These people are the ones that the VELA  C1 courses try to reach and provide short training courses that will teach them skills help them earn a decent and respectable income.  Ms. Sonenaly – National Program Officer, Employment and Income Going to the field is always eye opening for me as a National Program Officer. Having direct communications and observing practices in the field, improve my understanding on what is happening in the projects. The recent visit to the Phongsaly and Oudomxay IVET schools was a good opportunity to see the progress of the project and what results could be achieved against agreed work-plan. Throughout the trip, I learned that the school Directors have an important role in maintaining the school reputation, operation, and students’ development and eventual employment. Selection of the school Director should be nominated by teachers and students. It is crucial to have a school Director with relevant experiences in the TVET sector and one that aims for a positive change to the development of the local economy. The implementation of C1 courses at the two schools proved different results. One showed significant results by having disadvantage youths from very remote areas having access to the IVET school courses, while the other school achieved lesser results. I feel that although the environment for skills training and employment opportunities to the disadvantage youth might be challenging, a good school director will find a strategy

THE SDC PROGRAM IN THE MEKONG REGION

Fresh market vendor, Laos. Photo by Adrian Gnaegi.

Fresh market vendor, Laos. Photo by Adrian Gnaegi.

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) aims to reduce poverty, support equitable and sustainable development, and foster democratic governance in the Mekong region.

Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam presently share a number of challenges: transboundary economic and environmental governance; management of land and forest resources; integration into the impending ASEAN Community; and increased labor migration. In response, SDC has introduced a regional program on:

  • Agriculture and food security
  • Local governance and citizen participation
  • Employment and vocational education and training

SDC’s programming at the regional level is strategically and thematically linked with country-level interventions.

SDC PARTNERS

A wide range of partner organizations implement SDC’s programming in the Mekong region, including government agencies, bilateral and multilateral development organizations, and international and local non-government organizations.

SDC BUDGET

The 2013-2017 budget is CHF 205 million. Of this, around CHF 22.5 million (11%) will be spent in Vietnam; around 55 million in Cambodia (27%); around 86.5 million in Lao PDR (42%), and around 32 million at the regional level.

(15%). CHF 10 million is reserved for management costs and other issues.

Mekong Region

THE SECO PROGRAM IN THE CLMV REGION

The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) supports sustainable economic growth in Vietnam, Lao PDR, and Cambodia by promoting private sector development, contributing to the establishment of conducive economic frameworks, and fostering integration into the world economy.

In Vietnam, which is a priority country for Switzerland’s economic development cooperation due to its middle-income status, SECO is working on the following three topical objectives:

  • Promoting macro-economic stability and a transparent public finance management, an adequate business regulation and improved international market access.
  • Increased competitiveness of SMEs through the dissemination of international quality standards and business practice, access to finance services and development of entrepreneurial skills, as well as sup- porting urban infrastructure for the regional economy.
  • Environmentally friendly measures and methods through the promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energies, clean and sustainable production and consumption, as well as encouraging investments in climate protection measures.

SECO’s regional program aims to foster learning and sharing of good practices and adapted technologies among Vietnam, Lao PDR, and Cambodia. In Lao PDR, SECO supports the government’s efforts to integrate into regional and international markets, with a focus on the country’s recent accession to the World Trade Organization and sustainable tourism.

SECO BUDGET

For its priority country Vietnam, SECO has recently adopted a new country strategy for the period 2013-2016, in which it aims to commit 100 million CHF, marking a 50% increase from the previous period. Laos and Cambodia will be covered through additional global funds.

Night market vendors, Vietnam. Photo by Adrian Gnaegi.

Night market vendors, Vietnam. Photo by Adrian Gnaegi.


More detailed information on Swiss Cooperation activities and projects within the Mekong Region can be found at the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs’ SDC website.