WFP Lao PDR Country Brief, November 2020

Situation Report
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In Numbers

US$ 1.11 million six-month (Dec 2020 – May 2021) net funding requirements

451.9 mt of food assistance distributed

140,081 people assisted

Operational Updates

• WFP received US$ 2.3 million additional funding from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 in 120 new villages in the 12 districts where WFP implements its agriculture for nutrition project. WFP will strengthen local food production through scaling up pro-poor nutrition-sensitive agriculture support systems.

• In partnership with Big Brother Mouse, Plan International and Room to Read, WFP completed the distribution of 145,418 books to schoolchildren in 456 schools in November. The provision of books is part of WFP’s literacy promotion activities integrated into the school feeding package, which aim to fill the literacy gap in areas with weaker education and to help children from ethnic minorities to better learn the Lao language.

• WFP and the SUN Business Network supported the National Nutrition Center in opening a contest for the food fortification logo, to engage the public and create awareness on the concept of food fortification.

• WFP continued to distribute food to returning migrant labourers in seven quarantine centres in Lao PDR through partnerships with World Vision International and the Swiss Red Cross. During November, WFP provided over 32,089 nutritious meals to a total of 2,674 beneficiaries (1,310 women) at a total commodity voucher cost of US$ 57,631.

• WFP supported a training of trainers in the two northern provinces of Oudomxay and Phongsaly, in villages where WFP is supporting selected schools to establish fish ponds to diversify school meals and generate income. The training taught the participants basic fish farming knowledge and introduced them to the fish farming life cycle, spanning from breeding to harvesting.

• WFP provided financial and human resources to support the Government in conducting a flood impact assessment in Savannakhet, Saravane and Sekong Provinces. The assessment used KoBo Toolbox as a tool to collect data. WFP provided 15 smartphones for data collection and conducted a training on how to use the system for all government staff before the field work.

• WFP completed data collection in 30 communities across Oudomxay, Saravan, Sekong and Attapeu Provinces to generate evidence on food assistance-for-asset activities in Lao PDR.
The data will ensure that the design of WFP’s future interventions are impactful, sustainable, cost-effective and maximize benefits to beneficiaries.

• In partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) held an inception meeting for a French-funded project on cash assistance and resilient recovery of flood affected communities in Southern Lao PDR. The objectives of the meeting were to discuss the coordination mechanism for the project and jointly tackle priority topics including community asset identification and unexploded ordnance risks.

In November, the Association of Lao Garment Industry became the SUN Business Network’s strategic partner. This partnership is essential for the promotion of workforce nutrition, in order to reach women at reproductive age, a group essential for enhancing the country’s nutrition markers. WFP and the SUN Business Network continue to cooperate in producing nutrition training material.