Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Floods (MDRLA004): DREF Operation Final Report

CHF 128,687 was allocated from the IFRC’s DREF to respond to the humanitarian needs of households affected the floods. In all, the operation utilized CHF 125,483 or 97.5 per cent of the allocation. The unspent balance of CHF 3,204 will be returned to the DREF pot. The variance shown on the food budget line is mainly due to an increased in procurement and distribution of rice (▲ by 1,920 kg after field assessment) and the price of rice and fish (▲ by CHF 0.09 and CHF 0.07 per unit respectively due to the market cost and cost of living announced by government).

A. Situation Analysis

Description of the disaster

Heavy rains, which started pouring on 11 August 2016 and continued to 20 August 2016, caused flooding in five provinces of the Lao People’s Republic. Initially, rains affected the provinces of Luang Prabang, Oudomxay, Saravan and Sayabouri on 11 to 18 August. As conditions began to improve, a week later there followed more rains fuelled by effects of Tropical Storm Dianmu, mainly affecting the province of Xiangkhouang.

According to information consolidated by the Lao Red Cross (LRC), five casualties were reported, with at least 26,328 people affected across five provinces. Specifically, the number of people affected per province is 3,375 in Luangprabang, 19,242 in Oudomxay, 2,760 in Salavan, 891 in Xaignabouli and 60 in Xiangkhouang. The largest number of affected population was in Oudomxay Province. A joint assessment convened by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and involving other ministries – conducted in the province of Oudomxay and whose report was issued on 29 August 2016 – confirmed the relevance of the LRC geographic targeting, i.e. the most affected area.

Following the assessment, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare recommended the release of emergency fund for the province (LAK 200 million or equivalent of CHF 23,600).

Summary of Reponse

Overview of Host National Society

The LRC led implementation of this operation with technical support from IFRC, in particular through the deployment of a RDRT member from the Thai Red Cross Society (TRCS) for an initial period of one month, as well as the deployment of a logistics staff member from IFRC office in Bangkok for 10 days. In developing its plan of action for response, LRC national headquarters took the opportunity of a pre-scheduled national workshop, held from 29 to 31 August 2016, to arrange technical meetings with its Oudomxay branch officials. The technical meeting focused on disaster, the needs of affected people and interventions that LRC needed to undertake to address them. Furthermore, LRC leadership visited Oudomxay from 3 to 7 September 2016, as part of a high-level mission, together with government officials. These engagements informed the establishment of an LRC taskforce, involving various departments at national level, to manage the flood response operation. Detailed assessments in the field were undertaken on 12 to 22 September 2016 during which households to be assisted were selected and a survey to identify rice suppliers in Oudomxay province was undertaken to inform the planned tendering process.

Following assessments, selection of households to be assisted and procurement of required items, LRC coordinated with local government authorities to distribute relief and hygiene items. The distributions reached 464 families (2,624 people) in Beang District on 7 to 8 November 2016 and 437 families (2,536 people) in Houn district on 9 to12 November 2016.

Overview of Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in country

The IFRC provided technical support to the LRC through its country cluster support team (CCST) office in Bangkok, Thailand. The Asia Pacific Regional Office in Kuala Lumpur also provided remote support.

The ICRC, Danish Red Cross, French Red Cross, German Red Cross, Luxembourg Red Cross and Swiss Red Cross – who are also Movement partners supporting various programmes of LRC on bilateral basis – were provided with regular updates on the operation. The French Red Cross and Swiss Red Cross provided information on situation in areas where they support longer-term programmes and offered to provide technical support if requested by LRC. Swiss Red Cross also supported LRC in developing IEC materials for the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) component. IFRC provided in-country technical support in particular through a one-month deployment of an RDRT member from the TRCS as well as a ten-day deployment of a logistics staff member from IFRC office in Bangkok. The RDRT member also returned to Laos 6 to 16 November to support LRC in relief distributions and facilitation of hygiene promotion campaigns alongside distribution of food and non-food items in Beang and Houn districts. The RDRT member also supported LRC to organize a lessons learned workshop which took place on 24-25 November.

In addition, Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Delegate of the Bangkok CSST undertook a short mission in early October to provide technical support including in organizing relief distributions, mobilization of LRC volunteers, and mobilization of affected community members, including women and children, to participate in relief distributions and hygiene promotion campaigns.

Overview of non – RCRC actors in country

The Government of Laos led the overall coordination of disaster response through its National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) under the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. The LRC took part in the coordination meetings held at NDMO as part of monitoring and information sharing at national level. The detailed needs assessment and beneficiary selection process led by LRC were well coordinated with NDMO and local authorities at provincial and district levels.