The hydropower and mining sectors in Lao PDR are to benefit from newly approved financing from the World Bank.

A US$8.9 million grant and US$8.9 million credit has been approved by the Bank for a project that aims to improve human resource capacity and the performance of government oversight institutions in both the hydropower and mining sectors.

The Technical Assistance for Capacity Building in the Hydropower and Mining Sectors Project has already put in place important building blocks for the effective management of hydropower and mining development, and has supported the development of policies, regulations and guidelines for better governance of the two sectors. The project has assisted in strengthening the government’s ability to address key challenges in these sectors through technical advisory services and training, and by creating platforms for inter-governmental cooperation, the World Bank said in a statement.

The project has also assisted the Ministry of Energy and Mines in establishing a legal framework and management tools, such as standard Concession Agreement documents for hydropower and mining, fiscal policy options, hydropower management models, and the Policy on Sustainable Hydropower Development.

With this additional financing, the project will provide further support to develop hydropower and mining sector strategies and high-level policy dialogue in these areas. To enhance institutional sustainability, the additional financing will help improve management of the two sectors through the operationalization of legal, regulatory and technical aspects while strengthening the organizational, managerial and technical capacities of individuals working in these sectors. The additional financing will also help deepen the work on fiscal regimes, local benefits-sharing and financial flows to sectors to enable oversight institutions to carry out their mandate.