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Lao PDR: Country Profile

The Lao PDR is one of the world’s least developed countries (LDCs). Its relatively small population of an estimated 5.5 million is ethnically and linguistically diverse and geographically widespread (20 inhabitants per square km). With large parts of the country being mountainous and inaccessible, the provision of basic health care and education services, as well as infrastructural development, is a significant challenge. Life expectancy is low (approximately 59 years), infant mortality rates are high (82 per 1,000 live births) and only 17 per cent of all births are attended by trained medical personnel. Nevertheless, the government of the Lao PDR has set a goal for the country to move beyond its current LDC status by the year 2020.

     
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