WFP Lao PDR Country Brief, May 2020


In Numbers

US$ 1.5 million six-month (June – Nov 2020) net funding requirements

668.066 mt of food assistance distributed

99,220 people assisted

Operational Updates

• WFP, together with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), published a survey report which measures the impact of COVID-19 on food security and agriculture, and identifies bottlenecks and affected populations/provinces. Some key findings include disproportionately negative impacts on cash crops, negative impacts on the sale of farmers’ produce due to movement restrictions, decreased food availability, increased prices for certain commodities, and increased unemployment for daily labourers.

• WFP is planning a targeted response to support immediate food security needs as well as longerterm resilience of vulnerable communities. This includes assistance to returning migrant workers in quarantine camps, conditional assistance to build community resilience, unconditional assistance to particularly vulnerable households, WASH interventions at WFP-supported schools, and nutrition interventions for targeted populations.

• In May, WFP began providing the remaining food stocks at its supported schools as take-home rations, to support children and their families during these challenging times – this distribution coincides with the lean season, and also ensures that remaining stocks are not spoiled. A total of approximately 943 mt of food is scheduled to be distributed to 88,703 students across 925 schools in 8 provinces. This consists of 574 mt of rice, 292 mt of lentils and 58 mt of fortified cooking oil from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as 18 mt of canned fish from the Government of Japan.

• WFP received the next consignment, consisting of 1,290 mt of rice and lentils in May to be used for the school feeding programme for the 2020-2021 school year. Additional consignments of lentils and cooking oil are scheduled to arrive in June. A handover ceremony was held on 19 May, in which U.S.
Ambassador to Lao PDR, Dr. Peter Haymond reaffirmed the value of school feeding programmes.
He said, “School lunches are proven to help students achieve better academic results, and to encourage higher attendance for all students, especially females and underrepresented groups.
The U.S. stands together with the people and government of Laos to support the pursuit of this country’s development goals.”

• WFP signed an agreement with Health Poverty Action to set up two community rice banks in Sanamxay District, as part of the French-funded nutrition project in Attapeu and Khammouane provinces responding to the 2018 flood emergencies.

• WFP has started testing climate smart approaches in five model villages by planting fruit trees, shaping school and community gardens and planting upland rice, using local crop varieties that adapt well to the effects of climate change. These approaches will enhance community resilience to climate change, while supporting community-driven school feeding.