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New project set to boost health, nutrition services

The World Bank has provided a concessionary loan of US$23 million to the Lao government for the Health and Nutrition Services Access Project (HANSA) to support the health sector reform strategy.
The Global Fund (US$10 million) and the government of Australia (US$3 million) are co-financing partners.
The Health and Nutrition Services Access Project was launched on Wednesday, chaired by the Minister of Health, Associate Prof. Dr Bounkong Syhavong, and co-chaired by the Country Manager of World Bank Laos, Mr Nicola Pontara.
The funds will be pooled at the country level and will jointly finance agreed project programmes and expenditures and cross-referenced in the respective World Bank Financing and Global Fund grant agreements with the government.
HANSA is part of a more comprehensive programme to support government priorities, including technical assistance from development partners including WHO, CHAI, Gavi and civil society organisations.
The objective of the project is to improve access to quality and health nutrition services in targeted areas of Laos and will be implemented over a period of five years until 2025.
The project has four components: Integrating Service Delivery Performance with National Health Insurance Payments , Service Delivery and Nutrition Convergence, Adaptive Learning and Project Management, and Contingent Emergency Response.
The project’s target groups include the population of the four multisectoral nutrition convergence provinces, especially women and adolescent girls, infants, and young children in the 12 convergence districts in these provinces, who will benefit from the full range of interventions under the project.
For several interventions, including the application of quality performance scorecards at the primary care level, as well as several disbursement-linked indicators that have a larger footprint, the project’s coverage will eventually be all users of these services nationwide.
In terms of tuberculosis and HIV programmes, a special focus is on tuberculosis in older populations and people living in hard to reach areas with nationwide coverage, and for HIV on vulnerable and key affected populations in selected high prevalence provinces.
HANSA builds on the strong World Bank group-Laos relationship and experiences during the implementation of the Health Governance and Nutrition Development Project as well the strong collaboration with development partners.
The project is also a platform for the alignment of development partners towards sustainable financing of the health system in a way that sustains and enhances the performance of priority public health programmes.


By Viengdavanh Banphahaksa
(Latest Update
November 20,

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