VIENTIANE– Cooking oil and canned fish from Russia are arriving in Laos to support WFP’s resilience work for communities vulnerable to climate change. The food items, worth US$1 million, will be distributed to 27,500 people in the northern provinces whose lives have been affected by floods, droughts and pest outbreaks over the past two years.
“The Russian Federation attaches great importance to providing humanitarian and disaster relief assistance to the most vulnerable regions of the world,” said Russian Ambassador to Laos, Vladimir Kalinin.
“Through the reliable and efficient cooperation mechanism we have established with WFP, in 2018, for example, Russia supplied more than 36 MT of basic commodities to those affected by the devastating flooding in Attapeu province. This latest contribution will allow thousands in northern Laos to benefit from our joint efforts in supporting those affected by floods, droughts and other natural disasters.”
WFP will use the contribution - 36 MT of oil and 110 MT of fish – to support the food needs of people participating in its infrastructure-building projects. By constructing fishponds, building bridges and roads and improving drainage, communities will have a better chance at good harvests and becoming more resilient against climate-related risks. WFP will also provide training to help the communities manage these structures and prepare for future shocks.
“Resilience is key to empowered communities - their livelihood and their food security,” said WFP Country Director Jan Delbaere. “We are thankful that this important work is supported by the Government of Russia. By working together, we can help vulnerable communities withstand future shocks and contribute to achieving Zero Hunger by 2030.”
Laos is particularly vulnerable to climate change due to a high dependence on natural resources and low capacity to adapt to its impacts. In 2018, widespread flooding affected a large segment of the population, of which 70 percent rely on farming for daily sustenance. In partnership with the Government, WFP has supported 650 communities in building and rehabilitating their village infrastructure since 2013, improving the lives of 280,000 people.
The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.