Health Cooperation and Human Resource Development


Countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion aim for Sustainable Development Goals for health. Yet, the subregion still experiences high incidence of communicable diseases and drug-resistant microorganisms. GMS countries also suffer from inefficient health systems due to lack of synergies, economies of scale, and scope; and there are few common solutions to common health problems.

The Working Group on Health Cooperation seeks to address collective action problems of regional health investments and limited resources for health that tend to prioritize national investments.



After more than 20 years, the Working Group on Human Resource Development is being restructured to focus on health, given the strategic importance of regional cooperation in this area.

Human resource development, however, continues to be an important sector in the Greater Mekong Subregion. At an extraordinary meeting of the Working Group on Human Resource Development in Bangkok on 4 July 2017, participants agreed on the following key points:

  • Adjust the working group’s focus and approach given the new strategic directions for cooperation.
  • Consider continued support for analytical work and related initiatives in education at the country level, if there is a clear demand for these.
  • Cooperation in labor and migration could be best led by other development partners with the relevant expertise and resources.
  • Mainstream social development as a crosscutting theme.
  • Establishing a new Working Group on Health Cooperation would be the subject of further consultations among GMS countries.

Learn more:

HIV Prevention and the Infrastructure Sector in the GMS
Phnom Penh Plan for Development Management
Working Group on Human Resource Development
Summary of Proceedings for Working Group on Human Resource Development


Migrant and mobile populations in the Greater Mekong Subregion are often more exposed to malaria and out of reach of the health system. They can also spread the disease as they move within the region. Photo: ADB.

Migrant and mobile populations in the Greater Mekong Subregion are often more exposed to malaria and out of reach of the health system. They can also spread the disease as they move within the region. Photo: ADB.

Mosquitoes Know No Borders

Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Myanmar are on the frontlines of the global fight against malaria.

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The project will enhance responses to emerging infectious diseases and the management of other major public health threats. Photo: ADB.

ADB $125 Million Loan and Grant to Strengthen Health Security in GMS

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA (23 November 2016) — The Asian Development Bank has approved a $117 million loan to the Governments of Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam to enhance responses to emerging infectious diseases and the management of other major public health threats. The Lao PDR government is also receiving $8 million in grant assistance.

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