Rice from Republic of Korea boosts emergency reserves in LAO PDR
VIENTIANE – A new rice donation from the Republic of Korea was handed over to the United Nations’ World Food Programme’s (WFP) today in Vientiane.
Korean Ambassador H.E. Moohong Im, in the presence of H.E. Mme. Baykham Khatthiya, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare of Laos, handed over the 1,320 metric tons of rice, worth about US$1.26 million, to WFP Representative and Country Director Jan Delbaere at the WFP warehouse.
WFP will use part of the donation as a central rice reserve in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. In case of unforeseeable disasters, upon request for assistance from the Government, WFP will manage the allocations and ensure they reach people in need of assistance.
Another part of the donation will be used in WFP’s other food security programmes, for example to create community rice reserves in areas prone to natural disasters. These reserves will not only act as stocks in case of emergencies, but also as safety nets during food shortages in the lean season.
“Already in 2018, the Republic of Korea supported us with rice for distribution to families affected by floods. We are thankful that with this support we will be able to react quicker in time of emergencies than before. About 55,000 people – numbers depending on the type and scale of the disaster event – will benefit from Korea’s donation and WFP’s expertise,” H.E. Mme. Baykham Khatthiya, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare said.
“Climate change brings challenges to already poor communities in Lao PDR. The socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 are further worsening the situation for them. The Republic of Korea aims to strengthen its partnership with countries in the region, including Lao PDR. The Government of Korea is pleased to extend continued support to the Government of Lao PDR and its people to ensure their food needs are met even in times of crises,” said the Korean Ambassador, H.E. Moohong Im.
“The Republic of Korea is one of WFP’s important partners globally, having been providing emergency rice to countries since 2018. Laos is the only Asian country by far receiving this support, since this year, which is playing a critical role in boosting communities’ resilience against climate-related shocks such as floods. We are thankful for this support and also the collaborations extended to us by the Lao authorities in ensuring the rice can reach those with the greatest needs,” WFP Country Director and Representative Jan Delbaere said.
The United Nations World Food Programme is the winner of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. We are the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change. In Lao PDR, WFP supports the government in providing school lunches for primary students, counters malnutrition with targeted food support to the most vulnerable, and helps communities build resilient lives with sustainable livelihood options.
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