WFP Lao PDR Country Brief, September 2020

Situation Report
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Operation Update

• As part of the COVID-19 response, WFP is providing unconditional food assistance to returning migrant labourers in six quarantine centres in Lao PDR through implementing partners World Vision International and the Swiss Red Cross. In September, WFP provided over 82,671 nutritious meals and basic dignity kits to 5,589 beneficiaries (2,738 women and girls) at US$ 138,695.

• With the academic year starting on 1 September, WFP resumed school feeding in approximately 792 schools in 22 districts across 7 provinces. In September, WFP distributed 165 mt of food for 76,992 pre-primary and primary schoolchildren.

• WFP transferred US$ 69,810 to 2,116 participants (11,215 total beneficiaries; 5,495 women) as conditional cash-based transfers to bridge immediate food insecurities in 35 communities in Attapeu and Sekong Provinces through food assistance-for-assets activities. Participants built water reservoirs and roads, amongst others. WFP provided each participating household with US$ 33 to cover their rice needs for an estimated 18 days.

• In northern Lao PDR, 50 communities in Phongsali are working together to establish 45 integrated community reservoirs and five roads to productive areas though food assistance-for-assets activities. WFP provided over 3,300 participating households (21,800 beneficiaries) with a total of 36 mt of sunflower oil in exchange for their labour in constructing these assets.

• Phongsali is also the site of five climate-smart villages, in which WFP is implementing climate- resilient agricultural practices in partnership with the Institute for Rural Reconstruction. In two of the five villages (31 households in Asue village and 24 households in Phouxay village) new Laboun and None varieties of upland rice have been tested since June and are now ready for harvest. The varieties performed well and were tillering more than local varieties, offering a potentially more resilient and productive rice variety for their communities.

• In September, WFP launched the Lao School Meals App, a monitoring application for 148 model schools across 30 districts. The app allows monitoring of indicators such as the number of students that receive lunches, the number of days that they are offered lunch, the quantity and frequency of fresh food contributions from the communities, etc.