LAOS: First WFP Emergency Food Deliveries Reach Villagers Affected By Ketsana

Published on 03 October 2009

An archive shot of WFP beneficiaries in Laos.

(Copyright: WFP/Tom Greenwood)

VIENTIANE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is providing first emergency food assistance to communities in Sekong affected by Typhoon Ketsana. In the worst hit areas, provincial authorities are distributing eleven metric tons of rice and 3,200 cans of fish provided by WFP. Rations are designed to meet the energy and nutritional needs of over 3000 flood victims.

Sekong and Attapeu have been hit hardest by the disaster. “People have lost everything: shoes, clothes, food, household items. Everything.” said Hyunjung Kim, WFP Head of Sub-office in Saravane, after joining a government helicopter flight over Kaleum and Lamarm districts yesterday.

In Attapeu, more than 90 percent of land has been flooded, affecting 110,000 out of a total population of 117,000 people. “There is water as far as the eye can see. Rivers are converging across roads now,” reported Caitlin Makin, Head of WFP sub-office in the provincial capital. “We are ready to provide food stored at our office as soon as the flood waters recede,” she added.

WFP staff is working in close cooperation with the Lao government to assess the emergency needs and provide food assistance quickly. More rice and canned fish are already on the road from Vientiane to the WFP warehouse in Saravane.

These initial food distributions will be followed by a larger scale emergency response to meet the needs of all affected families. WFP is soliciting funding from donors to assist in this urgent relief effort.