- General

KOICA and UNICEF join together to improve children’s well-being in Attapeu

(KPL) The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has granted the sum of US$1.8 million to UNICEF to improve children’s psychosocial well-being and protection in Attapeu Province, Lao PDR.

Resident Representative of KOICA Sungsoo Oh and UNICEF Representative Octavian Bivol, signed on Mar 13 the agreement for the next four years (2020-2023).

“UNICEF is one of KOICA’s long-term partners in the Lao PDR. With this programme, we aim to protect children including the ones affected by the 2019 floods, from violence, exploitation and abuse in the southern province of Attapeu,” said Mr. Oh. “Together, we will help to strengthen the existing child protection system and also support the provision of responsive and preventive services,” he added.

UNICEF and KOICA were among the main partners of the Government-led emergency response during the 2018 floods in Attapeu Province. The Integrated Programme for Climate Resilience and Empowerment in Attapeu Province, Lao PDR – Child Protection scales up UNICEF’s 2019 child protection interventions supported by KOICA, worth US$150,000. Based on the lessons learnt from this previous work, the new programme will facilitate smooth transition from immediate response to sustainable recovery and development to strengthen the overall child protection system.

“We are aiming to reach 3,000 children with targeted services, and many thousands more community members as we strengthen the child protection system,” said Mr Bivol. “We hope to see improved psychosocial well-being and protection of all children in Attapeu by 2023,” he added.

The programme is in line with the National Socio-economic Development Plan (NSEDP) which focuses on the development of human capital for Laos’ future growth and achievement of the 2030 agenda, by making links with sectors such as Health, Livelihoods, Skills Development and Disaster Management. The evidence and lessons generated through the programme will also contribute towards a nationwide scale up of child protection programmes in the entire country.

Through the programme, the social welfare workforce will be strengthened by training child protection network members in 80 villages, while 3,000 children will receive community-based child protection services, including home visits, referrals, psychosocial support and case management. Various awareness raising activities will also be organized along with platforms for children and youth, to effectively prevent violence and other practices harmful to children in their communities.

Source: Lao News Agency