Thakhek, 21-22 January 2018 – A delegation of government officials, ambassadors and UN representatives traveled to Khammouane Province today to monitor the progress of the implementation of an emergency grant Lao PDR received from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) last October.
The US$3.5 million grant was given to Lao PDR to provide humanitarian assistance to the victims of last year’s devastating floods in Khammouane. The implementation of the grant is currently at its halfway point and the purpose of the mission was to evaluate the results achieved so far. The two-day schedule will include meetings with local government officials as well as chiefs and inhabitants of the villages that have benefited from the grant.
The flood response activities have been coordinated by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare with the support of four UN agencies – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Food Programme (WFP) and World Health Organization (WHO). So far, the actions have focused on ensuring the food security of the affected villages, tackling malnutrition, provision of health facilities and securing the livelihoods of those who lost their assets due to floods.
For example, FAO has helped villagers in planting rice and vegetables after floods destroyed their harvests. WFP has distributed cash to over six thousand households for purchasing food when their own harvests have not been forthcoming, thus keeping the local markets functioning. UNDP has provided temporary job opportunities to the victims by funding the repair of infrastructure wrecked by the floods. WHO has replaced damaged equipment in district hospitals and distributed Vitamin B supplements to contain the beriberi outbreak that occurred in the aftermath of the disaster.
At a meeting with Mr. Khamsy Outhivong, the Vice Governor of Khammouane, the Resident Coordinator of the UN in Lao PDR, Ms. Kaarina Immonen remarked: “It is important that the people who have suffered from the floods receive support quickly. We acknowledge the timely response of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare to the urgent and varied needs of the affected people of Khammouane and look forward to completing the activities enabled by the UN emergency response fund.”
Mr. Khamsy Outhivong emphasized the importance of international support for the flood recovery that is currently happening around Lao PDR: “Without the help of governments and organizations from abroad, we could not have assisted the people of Khammouane in such an efficient manner. Our hope is that other provinces in need of support will also get their deserved attention from the international community.”
The programme of the mission includes visits to project sites in Hinboun District. In addition to representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Health, the Ambassadors of the Republic of Korea and the EU Delegation to Lao PDR and the Chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Lao PDR have joined the delegation.
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For more information, please contact:
Ildiko Hamos-Sohlo, Communications Specialist, United Nations in Lao PDR
+856 20 7717 7913