In March, WFP Laos provided meals to 146,969 schoolchildren, and assisted 18,896 women and children with supplementary feeding.
WFP Laos facilitated an assessment mission from the WFP Brazil Centre of Excellence against hunger to identify potential needs to provide technical assistance to the national school meals programme.
WFP’s long-term goal in Lao PDR is to enhance food security and nutrition in the most vulnerable communities by implementing sustainable programmes.
The Country Programme is in line with the Government’s 8th National Socio-Economic Development Plan, and various sectorial strategies and plans, as well as with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, 2012-2016.
In addition to building national capacity, WFP supported activities address the three elements of food security by: i) increasing food availability, ii) improving households’ access to food and iii) advocating for adequate food utilisation. To achieve this, WFP Lao PDR uses a lifecycle approach.
The Mother and Child Health and Nutrition (MCHN) programme provides pregnant women and nursing mothers with nutritional support through supplementary foods and food rations. For children between 6-23 months of age, WFP provides micronutrient supplements. The programme ensures nutritional balance to prevent chronic malnutrition.
The school meals programme provides a nutritious snack to 140,000 pre-primary and primary schoolchildren in 1,500 schools across seven provinces. In line with the Government’s School Lunch Policy (2014), WFP supports the transition from snack to lunch. The school meals programme includes setting up school gardens as part of the Government’s priority for home grown school feeding. WFP is working on a hand-over strategy of the programme to the Government.
Through Food Assistance for Assets, WFP supports communities to build assets for the community, such as roads or irrigation systems. These activities aim at encouraging self-sufficiency and improving longterm food security in vulnerable communities.
Located in a geographical area prone to natural disasters, Lao PDR is affected by recurring floods, excessive rain or persistent droughts leading to food insecurity. The Emergency Preparedness and Response programme aims at improving resilience to natural disasters within the Government and the communities through capacity development activities. In the event of an emergency, WFP maintains an emergency stock of canned fish to feed 35,000 people.