NEWS | June 30, 2021

U.S. Provides $500,000 to COPE to Improve the Well-being of Persons with Disabilities

U.S. Embassy in Laos

VIENTIANE, U.S. Embassy in Laos -- With funding support from the United States, World Education and Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE) signed a grant agreement on June 28, 2021. This grant will run from April 2021 until July 2022 and provide approximately $500,000 USD over its lifetime. Per the agreement, COPE will assist the Center of Medical Rehabilitation (CMR) and the Ministry of Health in providing affordable high-quality prosthetic and orthotic devices, which benefits their efforts to address the specific needs of children with cerebral palsy and other persons with mobility impairments countrywide.

The grant was signed by World Education Country Director, Sarah Bruinooge and COPE Program Manager, Metta Thippawong and witnessed by U.S. Ambassador to Lao PDR Dr. Peter M. Haymond and USAID Country Representative to Lao PDR Michael Ronning.

“The United States is proud to continue to support Lao PDR as it works to improve the well-being of the Lao people, including persons with disabilities,” said Ambassador Haymond. “This year, the United States and Lao PDR are celebrating the 5th anniversary of the US-Lao Comprehensive Partnership, and this new agreement with COPE reaffirms our commitment to that support.”

This grant, funded by the United States Agency for International Development, will enable COPE and CMR to increase services and support for persons with disabilities, and address the rehabilitation needs of a growing number of people in the Lao PDR that experience mobility difficulties due to diseases, UXO incidents, or other accidents. This agreement will also enable COPE to further develop the rehabilitation knowledge and skills of CMR staff, for example to treat babies born with clubfoot and to better address the needs of children who have cerebral palsy.

The United States works in close partnership with the Lao government and Lao people citizens on a range of programs to improve health outcomes in Lao PDR. These include long-term initiatives to improve nutrition through school feeding, programs to address maternal and child health, efforts to address and prevent infectious diseases, and initiatives to better the lives of persons with disabilities.