What is this project about?
Lao People’s Democratic Republic is a land-linked country, located in the heart of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. The country is bordered by Myanmar and the People’s Republic of China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west. Lao PDR covers a total area of 236,800 sq km and has a population of 6.5 million spread across 18 provinces with approximately 67% of the population living in rural areas.
This Least Developed Country is regularly affected by typhoons (storms), floods, flash-floods, droughts, landslides, earthquakes, epidemics and UXO contamination which have negatively impacted its development growth. Flooding is the major cause of disasters in Lao PDR - both in terms of frequency and intensity. Floods in the central and southern parts of the country and flash floods in the northern part of the country occur on a yearly basis.
In August 2008, the Mekong River exceeded historical levels and reached its highest peak in 100 years. Typhoon Ketsana in 2009 caused reported economic losses of USD 100 million and Typhoon Haima in 2011 losses of USD 663,095,594. A major drought event affected 730,000 people in 1988. In 2018, tropical storms Son-Tinh and Bebinca and an unprecedented flash flood due to a breaching of a saddle dam in Attapeu Province resulted in flooding and related impacts across most of the country. Annually, average expected losses from disasters are estimated at USD 30 million, which amounts to 0.7% GDP.
The country’s reliance on extractive uses of natural resources exacerbates the country’s vulnerability to climate disasters. Early warning systems and data management are weak and climate risks are not well integrated into rural and agricultural development policies. Resilience at the community level is low due to the prevalence of monoculture, lack of diversity in livelihoods and limited infrastructure. (UNDP Country Programme Document 2017-2021).
Enhancing Lao PDR’s preparedness for disaster recovery at the national and sub-national level by strengthening the already existing mechanisms and by introducing new mechanisms for disaster recovery and resilience.
- Strengthened policy, institutional and financial frameworks to plan and implement sustainable recovery processes.
- Enhanced capacity in recovery planning and implementation including conducting post-disaster needs assessments and developing recovery frameworks.
- Enhanced capacity to implement sustainable recovery at community-level.
- Systematized body of knowledge and technological innovation for recovery management.
- Duration: June 2018 – September 2021
- Geographic coverage: Bolikhamxay Province and Saravan Province
- Focus area: Disaster recovery and resilience
- Implementing partners: Department of Social Welfare of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Department of Meteorology and Hydrology