The Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI), launched in 2009, is a multinational partnership among Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States to create integrated sub-regional cooperation among the five Lower Mekong countries. LMI serves as a platform to address complex, transnational development and policy challenges in the Lower Mekong sub-region.
LMI members develop shared responses to transboundary challenges across six pillars (Agriculture and Food Security, Connectivity, Education, Energy Security, Environment and Water, and Health) and in cross-cutting areas such as gender issues. LMI members are also members of Friends of the Lower Mekong (FLM), an important convening platform to improve donor coordination in programming development assistance in the Lower Mekong sub-region and to promote policy dialogue. The LMI Coordination Hub synthesizes and improves information access in order to identify areas of overlap, windows of opportunity, and potential collaboration.
The United States has provided significant funds to LMI projects and activities, including the following examples:
- Improving the communications skills of technical experts to support their participation in regional technical fora;
- Providing technical assistance to mitigate potential social and environmental consequences from large infrastructure projects;
- Training public officials in LMI partner countries working in technical sectors essential to connectivity;
- Promoting mapping of development assistance between donors starting with the Agriculture and Food Security sector;
- Supplying technical assistance to complete an assessment of power grid interconnectivity in the sub-region;
- Strengthening disease outbreak detection and response;
- Supporting information exchanges and training activities to improve disaster management capabilities; and
- Contributing to programs targeted at empowering women in the Lower Mekong sub-region.