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USAID and WFP scale up disaster risk reduction efforts for communities in Northern Lao PDR

VIENTIANE – The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare today announced an expansion of its activities to improve community and government capacities in disaster risk reduction in the north of the country. Nearly 16,000 people in four districts of Oudomxay and Phongsaly province will benefit from this cooperation implemented by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), under the leadership of the Ministry and with support from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance.

The project aims to mitigate the risks posed by climate shocks and their impact on communities, while enhancing food security for those most at risk. Its primary goals are to engage communities to reduce disasters risks, ensure sustainable livelihoods all year-around and strengthen national and local disaster management systems. These measures are vital as extreme climate poses a risk to food security, impacting both the availability and access to food.

Speaking at the project launch in Vientiane, Leepao Yang, Vice Minister of Labour and Social Welfare said, ”The four districts in Oudomxay and Phongsaly provinces have in the recent years suffered increasingly from seasonal floods and droughts, putting pressure on communities who are already threatened by food insecurity. Through this project, our Department of Social Welfare will also receive systems strengthening in supply chain and logistics management, as well as in conducting rapid emergency assessments. We are grateful for this support and collaboration of USAID and WFP, which contributes to the implementation of the 9th Socio-economic Development Plan and the National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy.”

Michael Ronning, USAID Country Representative to Laos, highlighted the expanding collaboration between the United States and Lao PDR in protecting lives and addressing the climate crisis. At the launching event, he said, “USAID is proud to continue these efforts with the Ministry, and pleased to announce that this program will expand support to communities from 15 to 40 villages in both provinces, preventing loss of lives, enhancing food security and mitigating the impacts of climate change.” 

“Climate-related disasters and other types of shocks are a main threat to food security. It is our joint priority to make communities resilient to shocks. Disaster preparedness and community resilience are key to maintaining progress on countering food insecurity. WFP is happy to continue the successful partnership needed to reach these goals,” said Marc-André Prost, WFP Representative and Country Director.

Families in the 40 target villages will participate in consultations to define their needs to strengthen their resilience. The communities will engage in the construction or rehabilitation of community structures set to control erosion and manage water resources, amongst others, which will contribute to their long-term food security and resilience. They will also receive cash-based transfers to bridge food gaps in-between harvest seasons. Vulnerable communities will also participate in livelihoods and disaster preparedness trainings aimed at making them more resilient to future climate shocks.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is 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.

 

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Topics

Lao People's Democratic Republic Climate Resilience Disaster risk reduction

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