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USAID supports for disaster risk reduction in Laos

More than 16,000 people are set to benefit from a project that aims to improve food security and resilience in communities that are prone to flooding and other weather extremes.
Through the scheme, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) will scale up disaster risk reduction efforts to create climate-resilient communities in northern Laos.

Representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, USAID and WFP meet in Vientiane to launch a disaster risk reduction project.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare said more will be done to improve community and government capacities in responding to and overcoming extreme weather events.
More than 16,000 people in four districts of Oudomxay and Phongsaly provinces will benefit from the project, supported by the United States through USAID at a cost of US$2 million.
The project will be implemented under the leadership of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare through the World Food Programme.
The project was officially launched in Vientiane on Tuesday. It will focus on reducing the risks posed by climate-related threats and their impact on communities, as well as boosting food security for the most vulnerable populations.
The project’s core objectives include community engagement for disaster risk reduction and improved livelihoods year round, and the strengthening of national and local disaster management systems.
Disaster risk reduction and food security are closely linked, because extreme weather events can significantly impact the availability of and access to food.
Speaking at the project launch, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Mr Leepao Yang said the four target districts in Oudomxay and Phongsaly provinces have suffered from both floods and prolonged dry spells in recent years, putting added pressure on communities who are already threatened by food insecurity.
Through this project, the Department of Social Welfare will receive assistance in systems strengthening in supply chain and logistics management, as well as in conducting rapid emergency assessments. The support and collaboration of USAID and WFP have contributed to the fulfilment of the 9th Socio-economic Development Plan and the National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy.
USAID Country Representative to Laos, Mr Michael Ronning, said USAID is proud to continue these efforts with the ministry and is pleased to announce that this programme will expand support to communities from 15 to 40 villages in both provinces, preventing loss of lives, enhancing food security, and mitigating the impacts of climate change.
WFP Representative and Country Director, Mr Marc-André Prost, said climate-related disasters and other types of shocks are a main threat to food security.
“It is our joint priority to make communities resilient to shocks. Preparedness and community resilience is key to maintaining progress in countering food insecurity,” Mr Prost said.
Families in the 40 target villages will participate in consultations to define their needs to increase their resilience. Local communities will engage in the construction or rehabilitation of community structures which will contribute to their long-term food security and resilience while receiving cash-based transfers to bridge food gaps between harvest seasons.
Vulnerable communities will also participate in livelihoods and preparedness training aimed at making them more resilient to weather extremes.

By Times Reporters
 (Latest Update November 8, 2023)

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