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EU funds new project to prevent and mitigate Covid-19

The European Union has provided 2.5 million Euros for Laos under a project titled “Civil Society Action to Prevent and Mitigate Covid-19”.
The Delegation of the European Union to Laos in partnership with Plan International and two Lao civil society organisations, namely the Community Health Inclusive Association and the Sustainable Agricultural and Environment Development Association, yesterday launched the new EU-funded project in Vientiane.

Relevant line ministries also attended the launch.
EU Charge d’Affaires, Mr Bryan Fornari, said they aimed to support the government of Laos to mitigate the health, social and economic impacts of the pandemic, which would enhance effective cooperation with civil society organisations.
Country Director of Plan International Laos, Mr Soumya Guha, said the Lao government had been working successfully to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Civil society organisations have been contributing to the government’s actions, increasing awareness, prevention and mitigation of the coronavirus, particularly at the village and district level, and also at the national and institutional level.
“The project we are launching today with the EU’s support will contribute significantly to the strong and effective role of Lao civil society in the national effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19,” Mr Guha said.
It will also strengthen plans and actions in villages, districts and provinces to respond to future outbreaks.
The project aims to respond to the current situation with a focus on health and socio-economic vulnerabilities, especially in rural and poor communities.
The financial value of the project is testament to the EU’s continuing support for Lao civil society. Civil society organisations are key actors in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The project will also enhance the capacity of about 20 Lao civil society organisations in improving their knowledge and skills to advocate Covid-19 prevention, risk mitigation and resilience building in community-based interventions.
At the end of project, it is expected there will be about 40,000 Covid-19 impacted individuals and that significantly economically impacted groups will benefit from the project.
It also contributes to a bid to weather the economic downturn and support livelihoods in line with shared values: transparency, good governance, and inclusiveness.
Team Europe is committed to a coordinated European response to Laos’ urgent needs in the fight against Covid-19 and an adaptation and repurposing of development programmes to mitigate the middle and long-term effects of the pandemic.
The full amount of 2,500,000 Euros will be provided over three years starting in September 2020, targeting nine provinces and the capital Vientiane.
Deputy Head of the Lao CSO Coordinating Committee, Dr Chansy Phimphachanh, thanked the European Union Delegation to Laos for giving Lao civil society the opportunity to contribute to the prevention and mitigation of Covid-19, which would allow full participation in national efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
“We have to work closely with all partners to prevent a second wave of Covid-19,” she said. “I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Department of International Organisations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for its support, and we do hope the Memorandum of Understanding will fast track the process,” she added.

By Patithin Phetmeuangphuan
(Latest Update
August 20,

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