With an estimated population of 7 million inhabitants, Laos is the least populated country in Indochina. 78% of the inhabitants live in rural and/or mountainous areas, with the social consequences of isolation.
The geographical location of this landlocked and mountainous country inevitably makes it extremely difficult to travel and access remote villages. Less than 20% of the 24,000 km of roads are paved, the others are rudimentary and difficult to access.
Monsoon periods further exacerbate isolation and distress in abandoned villages where ethnic minorities congregate. With an average annual income of CHF 300 per year (price of a loaf of bread 0.50 CHF), it is considered one of the poorest countries in the world. L′agriculture accounts for 80% of jobs and 50% of the country’s gross domestic product.