Vientiane, Lao PDR, 29 September 2016–The Government of Germany- has granted EUR 2.5 million to the Mekong River Commission to implement its strategic work, including climate change and adaptation, flood and drought management and sustainable hydropower.

The new contribution is made for a 3-year period ending in 2018, and implemented by German technical aid organisation, GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit). Ernst Hustaedt, GIZ Country Director to Lao PDR, and Pham Tuan Phan, Chief Executive Officer of the MRC Secretariat, signed today the financial agreement and implementation agreement at a ceremony in Vientiane.

The Government of Germany has been one of the long-term development partners of the MRC since the establishment of the Mekong River Commission in 1995. Germany’s continuous support for the MRC’s ongoing strategic and institutional reform processes, together with support from other Development Partners, will strengthen the MRC’s profile as the region’s only river basin organisation that supports sustainable management and development of shared water resources for the countries' mutual benefit and well-being of 65 million people living in the basin.

The contribution is part of a recent wave of donor funding for the MRC as it implements its new five-year strategic plan (2016-2020) under a different organisational structure with a new financial system known as the “basket fund”.

“We value the financial support and technical assistance from Germany through the implementing agency GIZ. GIZ has extensively extended its support and walked along with the MRC Secretariat in the implementation of technical work to the MRC’s decentralization and its Secretariat reform. We look forward to enhancing our good cooperation in the implementation of the MRC Strategic Plan 2016-2020,” said Pham Tuan Phan.

During this strategic cycle of 2016-2020, the MRC will focus its work on four key result areas such as strengthening regional cooperation, improving monitoring and communication of conditions in the basin, enhancing national plans and projects; and turning the MRC into a leaner, more efficient river basin organisation.

Germany has contributed so far more than EUR 24 million to the MRC for activities related to integrated water resource management, climate change adaptation, flood mitigation, sustainable hydropower development and organizational transition and reform.

Note to editors:
The MRC is the intergovernmental body responsible for cooperation on the sustainable management of the Mekong Basin whose members include Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam. It serves as a regional platform for water diplomacy as well as a knowledge hub of water resources management for the sustainable development of the region. It is not a supra-national or regulatory body. The commission looks across all sectors including sustaining fisheries, identifying opportunities for agriculture, maintaining the freedom of navigation, flood management and preserving important ecosystems. Superimposed on these are the future effects of more extreme floods, prolonged drought and sea level rise associated with climate change.