© Helvetas / Patrick Rohr


Helvetas is active in most provinces of Laos, with a particular focus on rural communities in the mountainous northern regions of the country. We promote equitable and biodiverse agricultural production, facilitate environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient trade, develop youth entrepreneurship and skills, and advocate for social justice. Women, young people and ethnic minorities are at the centre of our projects.
© Helvetas / Patrick Rohr
  • Capital
  • Area
    236,800 km²
  • Poverty rate*
    10% of the population live under the poverty line of $1.90 per day
    Rank: 140 out of 191
  • Population
  • People supported per year
  • Thematic focus
    Climate & Disaster Resilience
    Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion
    Education and Vocational Skills
    Private Sector Development
    Gender & Social Equity
* Source: UN Data

Laos, the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia, remains by and large a rural society. Roughly a third of the population still lives below the poverty line. Over three quarters of the population derive their livelihood from farming. Most small-holder farmers produce little, if any, surplus beyond their own needs. And yet their ecologically sound traditional farming methods hold tremendous development potential.

Strengthening a green economy

Helvetas has been working with the government since 2001 to set up an agricultural advisory system that combines technical expertise with the experience and know-how of local farmers. Farmers' groups are now working with the authorities to make Laotian agriculture more environmentally friendly and with the private sector to improve access to markets. Moreover, Helvetas has been working to improve tea and coffee value chains and promoting regional biotrade for sustainable non-timber forest products such as cardamom, red mushrooms and galangal.

Working toward Equitable, Inclusive and Just Societies

To achieve equitable, inclusive and just societies, it is critical that citizens can make their voices heard that their governments take the concerns of all people seriously - regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion and more. To support this, we are strengthening local government structures and provincial people's assemblies to reach their constituents more effectively, especially in rural areas. We are developing the capacity of civil society to engage with government agencies and represent the concerns of citizens. Finally, we work to make individuals more aware of their rights and the mechanisms that can help them, for example by supporting access to justice for survivors of domestic violence.

Empowering Young People as Agents of Change

Helvetas also recognizes the potential that young people hold for their personal development as well as for their communities and countries. We thus support vocational training and entrepreneurship initiatives. This not only contributes to a skilled workforce but also presents an opportunity to be a springboard for innovative, civic and/or green initiatives. It also provides an alternative to migrating to neighboring countries. 

Visit the website of Helvetas Laos.


The country programme in Laos is co-funded by the SDC programme contribution and multiple project donors such as SECO, World Bank, EU, SDC, GIZ and Swiss Foundations.

Our Projects in Laos

 If you would like to know more about our work in Laos, click on each project for details.

© Helvetas
Laos Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Fostering Civic Engagement

© Helvetas / Patrick Rohr
Laos Private Sector Development

Good Tea Fetches Good Prices

Vietnam_Biotrade_Woman | © Helvetas
Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar Private Sector Development

Ethical Trade in Botanicals

Vietnam, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, India Partnership & Capacity Development

Value Chain Capacity Building Network

 Mother with daughter preparing food | © Patrick Rohr
Laos Climate & Disaster Resilience

Connecting for Improved Nutrition

© Helvetas/Andrew Bartlett
Laos Private Sector Development

Towards a Greener and More Profitable Future

Laos Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

Empowering Civil Society for Citizen Engagement

Laos Climate & Disaster Resilience

Dam Safety for Disaster Resilience

Multimedia Stories from Asia

© K M Asad

Feeding Mothers' Courage

In Bangladesh, women dare to stand up for a healthy pregnancy

Growing medicinal plants in the Chittagong Hills Tracts of Bangladesh

Read how Mujib Chakma’s family increased their income by cultivating medicinal plants in the minorities region of Bangladesh.
© Patrick Rohr / Helvetas

Stateless – the Fate of the Rohingya

In the refugee camp in Bangladesh, Rabeya Begum and Mohamad try everything to enable their little son Mohamad Rizwan to live in dignity.

A Farmer’s Daughter Goes to College

Read how the Chakma family, with the support of Helvetas, has set up a tree nursery and thus freed themselves from poverty.

Protecting fish stocks in Myanmar

The people in the Gulf of Mottama live from fishing. Read how they try to regulate stocks with the help of Helvetas.

Where Tea Grows on Trees

In the mountainous hinterland of Laos, tea leaves are picked at high altitudes.
© Helvetas / Alexa Mekonen

Living with Climate Change in Bangladesh’s Southern Coastal Belt

Nasrin Begum and her family live in one of the most vulnerable coastal districts in Bangladesh. They are among many who are severely affected by water salinity.

Climate & Disaster Resilience

Every year, we support over 1,000,000 people in adapting to climate change, reducing the risks of disasters, sustainably managing natural resources, and conserving nature.

Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion

In many countries where we work, men and women are unable to claim their rights and participate actively in decision-making processes.

Education and Vocational Skills

Lack of education perpetuates inequality because poor countries cannot compete economically without a skilled workforce.

P.O Box 6367, House No. 143
Ban Phonthan Neua, Unit 15, Rue Phonthan
01000 Vientiane Capital

Phone:+856 21 263 189
E-Mail: laos@helvetas.org