The Country Strategic Plan (2017-2021) has been approved by the February Executive Board. A Lao delegation, led by the Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment attended the Executive Board session, and reaffirmed their commitment to the Country Strategic Plan (CSP), which will start on 1 April 2017.
The four strategic outcomes of the CSP will focus on key challenges faced by Lao PDR: food insecurity; malnutrition; low resilience to climate change; and the governance structure that is needed to address these priorities, support the Government to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets, and graduate to middle-income country status.
- The inception workshop for nutrient gap analysis was organized in Vientiane with participants from United Nations agencies, the European Union, the World Bank, World Vision, Care International, Save the Children, Lao Women’s Union, as well as national and provincial government officials. The workshop introduced the concept of nutrient gap and the implementation of the analysis. This was followed by a ‘cost of diet’ data collection in five provinces.
Results will be available in April/May.
Several assets creation projects have been completed in collaboration with the Department of Rural Development and Poverty Eradication. These include the creation of 60 rice banks, 58 km of roads, 22 fishponds, 14 gravity-fed water supply and 4 irrigation systems, which will help communities increase their food production and enhance their food security in the long term. WFP is also discussing joint activities with IFAD under their Community-based Food Security and Economic Opportunities Programme.
Preparations are underway for the local and regional procurement project funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), through which: i) farmers will receive training on producing and rotating crops, and will learn about the importance of diversified diets and how to grow vegetable gardens, and ii) schools will be provided with cash in order to buy fresh products from these farmers. As a first step, WFP will partner with a local non-profit association to collect baseline data, which will help measure the achievements of the projects.