WFP recommits support to Lao PDR as it prepares to graduate from Least Developed Country status
VIENTIANE –The Ministry of Planning and Investment and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today presented WFP’s new Country Strategic Plan 2022-2026 to Government and partners. With it, WFP recommits its support to the Government of Lao PDR in improving food security, reducing malnutrition and ensuring sustainable food systems for all, as the country prepares to graduate from Least Developed Country status.
“Today is a special and important event. The Government of Lao PDR with top management from ministries, together with WFP’s Country Director jointly planned and organised this launch of WFP’s new Country Strategic Plan 2022-2026,” said Sthabandith Insisiengmay, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment.
The plan contributes to several outcomes of Lao PDR’s 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan, the UN’s Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, and sectoral strategies such as the National Nutrition Strategy.
“The pivotal role of WFP is in creating enabling circumstances for the Government of Lao PDR. We are emphasising transition strategies for the handover of activities to the Government and communities, while aligning our interventions with our sister agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), as well as UNICEF and other donors and partners,” said WFP Country Director and Representative Jan Delbaere.
The four pillars of the Country Strategic Plan evolve around WFP’s value proposition for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger, by expanding and strengthening the Government’s school meals programme, supporting the prevention of malnutrition, working to enhance community resilience and ensure food security, as well as supporting the Government’s emergency response efforts.
WFP, the world’s largest humanitarian organisation, has provided support to the people of Lao since 1975. In 2000, WFP established a permanent presence in the country providing flood relief assistance, and in 2012 shifted to a development portfolio. The organisation employs over 170 staff around Laos, with presence in one fourth of all villages across 16 provinces of the country. WFP’s long-term commitment is to gradually transfer all programmes to the Government and communities as independently owned, managed and implemented food and nutrition security solutions.
Despite significant progress, Laos still ranks 78th out of 116 countries on the Global Hunger Index. Stunting continues to affect one in three children and 20 percent of the population faces food insecurity during the lean season. Anaemia rates remain high, while wasting rates increased between 2011 and 2017. In addition, the number of obese and overweight people is increasing. Laos is vulnerable to the effects of climate change, with natural disasters increasing in frequency and scale, and the COVID-19 crisis further weakening people’s resilience against recurrent shocks.
# # #
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.
Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media