© Helvetas / Patrick Rohr


Helvetas’ activities in Laos focus on ethnic minority communities in the mountainous northern regions of the country. People here preserve traditional farming methods, which are supported by Helvetas. Furthermore, we advocate for social justice and against domestic violence.
© Helvetas / Patrick Rohr
  • Capital
  • Area
    236,800 km²
  • Poverty rate*
    17% of the population live under the poverty line of $1.90 per day
    Rank: 138 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.

Advisory services for farmers

Helvetas has been working with the government since 2001 to set up an agricultural advisory system that combines expertise with the experience and know-how of local farmers. Farmer groups are now working with the authorities to make Laotian agriculture more environmentally friendly and improve its access to the market. The Laotian extension services have officially taken up this approach and are now applying it in various parts of the country.

Supporting ethnic minorities

Helvetas supports agricultural and forestry colleges all over the country. The objective is to dynamically adapt the schools to the specific local conditions and also to promote the inclusion of women and ethnic minorities. The schools teach theoretical knowledge and practical know-how, train teaching staff and develop new curricula, which include applied training. Laotian agricultural and forestry colleges are also improving their infrastructure and administration and integrating into a regional network.

Against domestic violence

Helvetas advocates for improved social inclusion in Laos. We support farmers’ and civil-society organizations as well as local parliaments with a view to fostering local development based on the principles of self-determination and social justice. We also seek to safeguard women’s rights and fight against gender based violence, because domestic violence, which is still widespread in Laos, is hushed up as a “family affair”.

Visit the website of Helvetas Laos.

The country programme in Laos is co-funded by the SDC programme contribution.

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

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