WFP Lao PDR Country Brief, July 2020

Situation Report
Originally published
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In Numbers

US$ 1.16 million six months (August 2020 – January 2021) net funding requirements

3.476 mt of food distributed

2,694 people assisted

Operational Updates

• Through a donation from the Government of France, WFP will create 40 productive assets across 35 targeted communities in Sekong and Attapeu, benefitting 16,500 people through cash-based transfers for their labour.
From 6 to 19 July, WFP held community-based participatory discussions in the communities to help them identify the sustainable livelihood assets that matched their needs. For the first time in Laos, WFP registered 2,433 beneficiaries in SCOPE, WFP’s beneficiary information and transfer management platform. The use of this platform will increase personal data protection and privacy, and improve WFP’s accountability to the beneficiaries.

• Building on recent experiences supporting quarantine centers in other parts of the country, WFP started, on 25 July, in collaboration with the Swiss Red Cross, another round of food distributions to returning migrants in quarantine centres in Xayaboury and Vientiane. WFP is providing three meals a day to these migrants during their government-regulated quarantine periods. WFP also extended its partnership with World Vision, who had been providing meals to quarantined returning migrants in Savannaketh.

• In Phongsaly, WFP delivered 3,600 fruit trees to five pilot “climate-smart” villages in partnership with the International Institute for Rural Reconstruction (IIRR).
The five villages are on track to becoming climate-smart by adapting resilient agroforestry practices and diversifying their agricultural production. WFP and IIRR are taking into account the specific situations of each of the villages to provide information and tools to brace communities against future climate risks and shocks, while creating sustainable livelihoods.

• WFP is supporting the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry with the implementation of their Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in Agriculture project, developing new guidelines on disaster risk management in agriculture. Earlier this month, the Ministry organized training and village-level planning for disaster risk reduction in four districts in the provinces of Savannaket and Khammouane. Furthermore, the Government approved and published the guidelines for this project, which will strengthen the disaster readiness of the country.

• As part of the school meal programme hand-over plan, WFP provided 11,980 fruit trees to 515 target schools, which have now been delivered and planted.

• WFP is supporting the Government to develop a nutrient-dense food crops list to promote nutritious food production and consumption. The list will be used for social and behavioural change activities regarding infant and young child feeding practices, illustrating “quick wins” for nutritious diets. The endorsement meeting was held on 29 July in Vientiane, attended by a delegation from the ministries, the private sector and development partners.

• WFP conducted a two-day workshop on social and behavioural change communication strategy development for workforce nutrition in support of the implementation of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN)
Business Network. WFP, together with stakeholders, drafted messages and tools and identified target audiences during the workshop.

• In partnership with Big Brother Mouse, WFP distributed 38,675 books to 91 schools in Samphan and Bountai districts in Phongsaly Province, benefitting 5,438 students. WFP also trained 374 teachers, school administrators and villagers on using and maintaining the books.

• WFP approved and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Plan International and Room to Read for literacy activities.