Lower Mekong Initiative:

Friends of the Lower Mekong

The Friends of the Lower Mekong (FLM) encourages the integration of development activities towards inclusive, sustainable, and environmentally-responsible growth. Photo: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the Friends of Lower Mekong Ministerial Meeting
BACKGROUND

The Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI), launched in July 2009, is a multinational effort intended to create integrated sub-regional cooperation between and among Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States. Under the LMI, the Friends of the Lower Mekong (FLM) is an important convening platform and mechanism to improve donor coordination in programming development assistance in the Mekong sub-region.  Participating FLM members include Australia, Japan, S. Korea, New Zealand, the European Union, Asian Development Bank, and World Bank.

APPROACH

The FLM is carried out through two main tracks:
1.Donor Dialogue among partner country development agencies and multilateral development institutions in order to:

  • Expand information sharing;
  • Strengthen partner country ownership of programs; and,
  • Support emerging donors in the lower Mekong region.
2. Annual Policy Dialogue between foreign affairs ministries on non-traditional security issues, such as the LMI Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Policy Dialogue, and Mekong River Commission technical capacity.