(KPL) A delegation of government officials, ambassadors and UN representatives traveled to Khammuan Province on Jan 21-22 to monitor progress in implementing an emergency grant the Lao PDR received from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) last October.
The US$3.5 million grant was given to the Lao PDR to provide humanitarian assistance to the victims of last year’s devastating floods in Khammuan. The implementation of the grant is currently at its halfway point and the purpose of the mission was to evaluate the results achieved so far.
The two-day schedule will include meetings with local government officials as well as chiefs and inhabitants of the villages benefiting from the grant.
The flood response activities have been coordinated by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare with the support of four UN agencies � Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Food Programme (WFP) and World Health Organization (WHO).
So far, the actions have focused on ensuring the food security of the affected villages, tackling malnutrition, provision of health facilities and securing the livelihoods of those who lost their assets due to floods.
FAO has helped villagers in planting rice and vegetables after floods destroyed their harvests. WFP has distributed cash to over six thousand households for purchasing food when their own harvests have not been forthcoming, thus keeping the local markets functioning.
UNDP has provided temporary job opportunities to the victims by funding the repair of infrastructure wrecked by the floods.
WHO has replaced damaged equipment in district hospitals and distributed Vitamin B supplements to contain the beriberi outbreak that occurred in the aftermath of the disaster.
At a meeting with Mr. Khamsy Outhivong, the Vice Governor of Khammuan, the Resident Coordinator of the UN in Lao PDR, Ms. Kaarina Immonen remarked: It is important that the people who have suffered from the floods receive support quickly. We acknowledge the timely response of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare to the urgent and varied needs of the affected people of Khammuan and look forward to completing the activities enabled by the UN emergency response fund.
Mr. Khamsy Outhivong emphasized the importance of international support for the flood recovery that is currently happening around the Lao PDR: Without the help of governments and organizations from abroad, we could not have assisted the people of Khammuan in such an efficient manner. Our hope is that other provinces in need of support will also get their deserved attention from the international community.
The programme of the mission includes visits to project sites in Hinboun District. In addition to representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Health, the Ambassadors of the Republic of Korea and the EU Delegation to the Lao PDR and the Charge d’affaires of the Embassy of the United Kingdom in the Lao PDR have joined the delegation.
Source: Lao News Agency