Vientiane, 10 October 2019 – The European Union is allocating € 200,000 (LAK 1.95 Billion) to provide essential humanitarian assistance to families affected by the recent tropical storm Podul and tropical depression Kajiki, which wreaked havoc across large parts of Lao People’s Democratic Republic in early September. The funding will address the most pressing needs of thousands of vulnerable people in some of the hardest-hit areas.
“Our contribution will complement the Laotian government’s efforts in providing crucial assistance to the many families who have lost their property and sources of income in the wake of the storms,” said Olivier Brouant, a Rapid Response Coordinator with the European Union. “It will enable our partners on the ground to quickly step up their aid efforts and help people get back on their feet as soon as possible.”
The aid will provide access to clean water supplies in the areas where water resources were damaged and contaminated. Cash assistance will be also be delivered to enable people— particularly those living in remote areas—to meet their basic needs.
The EU funding is made available via the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) through its Small Scale Tool mechanism.
More than 660,000 people have been affected by the disaster, some 40,000 of whom were displaced when tropical storm Podul and tropical depression Kajiki hit Laos in quick succession in early September. The strong weather systems brought days of torrential rain, which triggered severe flooding across six provinces in the country’s south: Attapeu, Champasak, Khamouan, Saravan, Savannakhet and Sekong. According to government data, the storms and subsequent flooding caused heavy damage to local infrastructure, including over 30 reservoirs, more than 270,000 hectares of agricultural land and some 570,000 livestock—intensifying the need for clean water supplies and livelihood assistance. The worst hit province has so far been Champasak.
The European Union and its Member States are the largest donors of humanitarian aid in the world. The assistance is an expression of European solidarity towards people in need. The goal of the assistance is to save lives, alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by disasters caused by natural phenomena and man-made crises. The European Commission, through its Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO), assists more than 120 million people affected by conflicts and disasters every year. For more information, please visit the DG ECHO website.
ECHO’s Small Scale Tool is a global mechanism which allows for rapid funding for up to € 500,000 for emergency humanitarian relief in countries affected by natural and man-made disasters.
Peter Biro, Regional Information Officer for Asia and the Pacific, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO): Peter.Biro@echofield.eu