WFP Lao PDR Country Brief, April 2020


In Numbers

US$ 1.28 million six-month (May – Oct 2020) net funding requirements

7.724 mt of food distributed

10,128 people assisted

Operational Updates

• As a result of COVID-19 and the government instituted lockdown measures, most field-level activities were suspended during the month of April. However, preparedness measures were advanced, as well as preparations for the distribution of take-home rations at schools. During the end of April, WFP – in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and with the support of partners – also rolled out a perceptions survey for the impact of COVID-19 on food security and agriculture.
Results will be shared in May.

• In light of school closures and food needs in vulnerable communities, WFP prepared to distribute take home rations to 88,703 students across 925 schools in 8 provinces - Phongsaly, Oudomxay, Luangnamtha, Luangprabang, Salavan, Sekong, Attapeu and 15 schools in Nakai District in Khammouane Province, where WFP provides school feeding in partnership with EDF-Lao. A total of 943 mt of rice, lentils, fortified cooking oil and canned fish are scheduled to be distributed in May.

• The Government endorsed two guidelines – developed jointly with WFP - on cash-based transfers. The guidelines will be distributed to all schools which receive mid-day meals.

• While implementation of some field-level activities in the French-funded nutrition project in Khammouane and Attapeu provinces was suspended, other activities continued through the ownership of communities. The distribution of specialized nutritious food in Khammouane and Attapeu provinces proceeded in April through the health centres and communities, with WFP providing remote monitoring and support, particularly to mitigate risks of COVID-19 transmission. Remote monitoring also revealed that implementation of the garden/livestock grants was ongoing, with households purchasing small animals and inputs to improve home gardens. Completion of village nutrition infrastructure in Attapeu was put on hold.

• During April, WFP continued supporting the Lao PDR Cash Working Group by advancing preparedness measures for cash-based transfers through facilitating the development of Cash and Voucher Assistance Guidelines and a minimum expenditure basket for the country. This minimum expenditure basket is defined as what a household requires to meet their essential needs, on a regular or seasonal basis, and its average cost. This is useful in helping identify cash transfer values to beneficiaries.