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Poverty Reduction Fund targets livelihoods, nutrition

The Poverty Reduction Fund (PRF) will focus on livelihood support and nutrition promotion in four target provinces this year, according to PRF
Work will involve assistance with household vegetable gardens, fodder gardens, animal raising (poultry, pigs, fish, frogs) vaccine chain management, seedling nurseries, cattle pens, crop growing, fruit trees, non-timber forest products, improved rice varieties, and handicraft making.

The PRF will cooperate with other sectors to provide training on animal raising and crop growing techniques, watershed management, natural resource management, use of biodiversity for pest management, vaccinations, processing, storage, identifying local and urban market links through agribusiness, and increasing financial assets and access to finance.
The goal of this work is to ensure that livelihood activities are sufficient to provide supplementary meals for six months to target groups and reduce the number of stunted children in these areas.
The Poverty Reduction Fund was established in May 2002 under a prime ministerial decree, with funding from development partners. The Fund was a key initiative to support the government’s goal to eradicate mass poverty by 2020. The development objective of the original PRF III is to “improve access to basic services for the project’s targeted poor communities”.
This development objective remains relevant, to capture the increased emphasis on livelihood and nutritional outcomes.
However, in the additional financial period from 2020-2024, the objective has been revised to “improve access to prioritised basic services, as well as support the production and consumption of nutritious food in the project’s targeted poor communities”.
At the end of 2019, the government and the World Bank signed an agreement for US$22.5 million, which will be used to reduce poverty and child stunting in 12 priority districts in the four northern provinces of Phongsaly, Xieng Khuang, Huaphan and Oudomxay.
Before extending the work of livelihood and nutrition activities to other villages, three pilot villages have been implementing these activities in Huameung district of Huaphan province since September 2019.
In terms of nutrition, there are three key areas, namely Farmer Nutrition Groups, Home Nutrition Gardens, and Multi-media Peer Learning or Social Behaviour Change Communication. In addition, there is an additional pilot on raising buffalo for dairy products.
To date, Farmer Nutrition Groups have been established in 231 villages of 12 districts in the four provinces. There are now a total of 248 Farmer Nutrition Groups with 5,834 members.
Members comprise 1,207 pregnant women, 1,453 lactating mothers with  infants aged 0-5 months, and 3,174 mothers with children aged 6-23 months.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
March 25,

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