Vientiane, Lao PDR, July 16 2014
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Australian government have agreed to strengthen environmental and social risk management in Lao People’s Democratic Republic with a $5.4 million grant meant to encourage sustainable hydropower and safeguard river health, a key resource for food and trade.
In Lao PDR, about 80 percent of the population depends on rivers for daily subsistence, including fishing and trading. IFC is working to ensure that downstream impacts from hydropower projects are minimized via improved environmental and social standards. This in turn will support the livelihoods of riverine communities, improve river ecology, and ensure more sustainable management of hydropower projects.
“The Australian government’s support underscores the importance of developing hydropower in a sustainable manner, and aims to tackle challenges of water resource governance,” said Simon Andrews, IFC Regional Manager for Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
With more than 70 hydropower projects planned in Lao PDR, the grant allows IFC to significantly increase its efforts to encourage the private sector, governments, and financiers to implement sustainable hydropower development options.
“Sustainable hydropower begins with the commitment of all stakeholders,” said Andrews. “By advising developers, holding public consultations, and training government officials, IFC is working to ensure that projects in the pipeline are sustainable and meet good international and industry practice.”
IFC has been working with the government of Lao PDR since 2012 to ensure hydropower is developed in ways that protect the environment and local communities. To find out more about IFC’s engagement in Lao PDR’s hydropower sector, visit
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit