WFP and France join forces to combat food insecurity in Sekong
“Thateng District of Sekong Province is characterized by high ethnic diversity and many food-related beliefs and taboos. High poverty rates and malnutrition impact especially small children, mothers of young children, women-headed households and persons with disability. We therefore welcome this intervention which specifically targets such vulnerable households,” said Mr. Souphon Xaysanga, Deputy Governor of Thateng District.
The project, led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Health, will enable participants to apply their knowledge and invest their cash grant by establishing home gardens and buying small livestock.
Sekong Province in southern Lao PDR is struggling with the highest food insecurity rates in the country, with one in three people facing moderate to severe food insecurity. Levels have been persistently rising since mid-2022, as people struggle to cope with high food, fuel and agricultural input prices. Sekong is also marked by a high prevalence – 50 percent – of chronic malnutrition among children under 5, creating long-term devastating effects on their physical and cognitive development. This is compounded by climate-related disasters such as seasonal floods and droughts, which are further impacting the province’s most vulnerable communities.
“Thanks to the programmed food aid, France is pleased to contribute to Lao Government efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 on ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and sustainable agriculture,” said Siv-Leng Chhuor, Ambassador of France to Lao PDR.
WFP will roll out the project on the ground. “Our main aim is to ensure that the people of Sekong receive tools to become autonomous producers of their own nutritious food, thus escaping the cycle of poverty and malnutrition. This is in line with WFP’s strategic objective to ensure improved nutrition for vulnerable people at risk of any form of malnutrition. Such interventions need a broad partnership approach “, said Jan Delbaere, WFP Country Director and Representative.
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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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