COVID-19 - Prevention and Recovery in the Mekong Region

Vulnerable groups in Laos and Cambodia suffered disproportionally from the Covid-19 socio-economic crisis affecting their income, as well as access to public services and employment. Swiss support will combine institutional strengthening of local actors and provision of public services, skills development, access to credit and support to returning migrants. The long-term experience of Switzerland and trusted relationships with governments add value to the intervention

Región/País Tema Período Presupuesto
Agricultura y seguridad alimentaria
Empleo y desarrollo económico
Formación profesional

Servicios agrícolos & mercado
Apoyo a empresas e inclusión económica
Desarrollo de pequeñas y medianas empresas
Violencia sexual y de género
Participación democrática y sociedad civil
Nutrición de base
Formación profesional
Seguridad alimentaria de los hogares
Desarrollo rural
Migración laboral
Creación de empleo
Informal banking & insurance
Protección social
Fortalecimiento del sistema sanitario
01.08.2020 - 30.09.2022
CHF  6’750’000
Contexto The coronavirus has rapidly spread across the world and WHO declared it a global pandemic on 11 March 2020. While the Mekong region so far has not seen a major spread of COVID-19, with the number of cases officially maintained under 19 in Laos and 122 in Cambodia, the socio-economic consequences of the preventive measures are already severely affecting both countries, a situation that will still influence the development in the coming months and years. Additionally, there is the risk of a wider spread of the disease after the borders are open again, with migrants and eventually tourists travelling within the region. Successes and development gains of the past years in lifting people out of poverty may be quickly lost if support measures are not introduced. The Mekong context, with weak health systems, high rates of food insecurity and malnutrition, low access to water and sanitation services and an important informal economy without social protection is particularly vulnerable to the health and socio-economic consequences of the pandemic. Switzerland, with its good knowledge of field realities in Laos and experience in reaching out to disadvantaged groups in rural areas, can influence the design of programmes to ensure that no one is left behind. This applies specifically in the fields of skills development. Migration and food security.
Objetivos Contribute to reduce the negative socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on vulnerable populations in Laos and Cambodia, by enabling public authorities , private sector and civil society actors to provide accessible services to men and women and increase their resilience
Grupos destinarios

Affected women and men across Laos and Cambodia  with a focus on vulnerable groups, considering but not limited to those provinces with existing concentration of Swiss supported programmes.

National and local authorities for the capacity building components, as well as Lao Non for Profit Associations.

Efectos a medio plazo

Outcome 1:    Women and men, with a focus on vulnerable groups, including returnees have equitable access to prevention and recovery support to maintain their livelihoods and dignity.

Outcome 2:    Public actors at the central and local levels as well as Civil society Organisations are strengthened in their capacity to manage COVID-19 and provide effective, coordinated, needs-based and inclusive short to medium term responses to affected people. 


Resultados previstos:  

1.1    People, including returnee migrants and unemployed women and men from the informal sector, have access to livelihood opportunities, through short skills trainings in the agriculture sector or other relevant sectors of the local economy to keep their livelihoods;

1.2    The economically most vulnerable in rural areas (landless, day labour and agricultural workers) receive rapid support; 

1.3    Stranded migrants in destination countries as well as migrant workers repatriated in Laos and Cambodia get adapted support; 

1.4    Women and men-owned micro- small and medium-scale enterprises are business resilient and are able to offer employment opportunities through access to financial services and business development services;

2.1.    Government agencies are better equipped to provide social protection services to vulnerable people in rural and urban areas;

2.2. Service providers have the capacities to extend related services in a COVID-19 conform approach.

Dirección / Officina Federal responsable COSUDE
Crédito Cooperación al desarrollo
Contrapartes del proyecto Contraparte del contrato
Otra organización internacional
Organización suiza sin fines de lucro
Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU)
  • Oraganización de las Naciones Unidas para la Alimentación y la Agricultura
  • HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
  • International Labor Organization
  • Other OI
  • Cruz Roja Suiza
  • Fondo de Población de las Naciones Unidas
  • Industrial Development Organization
  • World Food Programme

Otras contrapartes
UN agencies, Helvetas & GIZ
Coordinación con otros proyectos y actores Relevant government partners, UN agencies, MDB, international NGOs and local NPAs, and/or other development partners, providing relief and recovery to the Mekong region. Synergies with Swiss projects especially in the A&FS as well as Skills Development sector
Presupuesto Fase en curso Presupuesto suizo CHF    6’750’000 Presupuesto actual suizo ya emitido CHF    6’114’915