As recommended by the Crop and Food Security Mission (CFSAM) report, a follow-up assessment was carried out by WFP in cooperation with CARE Laos and World Vision in late January 2011. The main objective was to identify the number of people in need of food assistance after the recent shocks such as the poor rainfall and flash floods during the year 2010.
With the support of local authorities, the assessment team conducted the survey in five provinces: Attapeu, Khammouane, Sekong, Saravane and Savannakhet. The districts were selected based on the recommendations of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare as well as the recommendations of the CFSAM.
It was found that in lowland farming districts such as in Vapy, Khongxedone and Lakhonepheng districts, the losses in rice production were most significant; however, farmers’ ability to cope with the food insecurity situation was greater. These districts are not deemed to need food assistance.
Other districts, mainly located in the central and southern highlands, seemed to be more vulnerable. They had lost or sold their livestock already and their opportunities for casual labour were generally less than those of lowland households. In some cases, they had already started to reduce the number of meals, which shows the fragility of the situation. Tropical Storm Ketsana and floods were a major factor, in addition to the limited physical access of the remote villages to markets. These districts were deemed to need food assistance.
The team identified a total of 111,918 people, in central and southern highlands, that will become food insecure starting from the end of April.
It is recommended to pursue food distributions in the most vulnerable districts in central and southern Highlands, to avoid a serious deterioration of the situation during the main lean season.