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Luxembourg pledges 3 million euros for Covid-19 response

Luxembourg has pledged 3 million euros to enable Laos to strengthen the national and provincial health response to Covid-19, with 240,000 euros handed over to the Ministry of Health on Thursday.
Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in the Lao PDR, Sam Schreiner, represented the government in handing over the first tranche of the emergency aid package.

Deputy Minister of Health, Associate Prof. Dr Phouthone Muongpak, and representatives from the Luxembourg Development Agency in Laos attended the handover ceremony.
According to a press release, the overall aim of the aid is to support the national effort to address the gaps identified through the multi-national Country Preparedness and Response Plan and provide direct bilateral support to provincial authorities in Khammuan, Borikhamxay and Vientiane provinces.
The first tranche is part of a four-pronged intervention approach to support Laos in its response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and includes the procurement of medical equipment, personal protection equipment, and consumables, which have already been distributed to the three provinces.
In addition, the support has been provided to strengthen provincial preparedness and the establishment of temporary Covid-19 treatment and isolation facilities, health workforce protection, infection prevention and control, case detection and contact tracing.
As part of the overall support, a national intervention of 935,000 euros is planned to be implemented through the World Health Organisation.  This will reinforce country-level coordination, planning and monitoring, disease surveillance and contact monitoring, strengthening regional laboratory capacity, building clinical management capacity for a Covid-19 surge and providing logistics management, and community risk communication.
A further intervention concluded an agreement with the Institut Pasteur du Laos, signed for an amount of 250,000 euros. This will help strengthen and expand the diagnostic capabilities of its laboratory in Vientiane, which is part of the Ministry of Health’s reference laboratory network for Covid-19 detection for hospitals.
An additional intervention of 815,000 euros, which is directly implemented by the Lao-Luxembourg Health Sector Support Programme, is currently providing support to provincial authorities in the three provinces in operationalising their provincial response to Covid-19.
The programme will continue to assess and address provincial needs that may arise as further measures for pandemic surveillance and containment are planned by provincial authorities while Covid-19 remains a major threat. An economic and livelihood response intervention of 1 million euros is also being implemented through the Lao-Luxembourg Local Development Programme. This targets 229 poor and remote villages with a population of 150,000 in the provinces of Vientiane, Borikhamxay, Khammuan, and Bokeo.
Through this programme, the negative social and economic impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak will be mitigated through emergency response funding as part of Village Development Funds.


By Times Reporters
(Latest Update May 22, 2020)


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