(KPL) The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is supporting the government of the Lao PDR in logistics distributing around 500 tonnes of rice donated by the Republic of Korea through APTERR – ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve.
The rice is helping communities recover from recent floods in five southern provinces namely Savannakhet, Saravan, Xekong, Attapeu and Champassak.
In late August and early September this year, tropical storm PODUL and depression Kajiki precipitated floods in the central and southern parts of Laos, causing 14 deaths, forcing 88,000 people out of their homes and leading to almost 400,000 people losing livelihoods, income and belongings.
The immediate food insecurity of heavily affected communities in Khammuan, Savannakhet, Saravan, Xekong and Champassak provinces is currently being remedied through rice sent to Laos from Korea in the framework of the APTERR.
APTERR is a regional cooperation with the aim to strengthen food security, alleviate poverty and eradicate malnutrition during and after emergencies within the region without distorting normal trade in the global market.
In this goal, the ASEAN countries are joined by the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
Since being founded in 2011, APTERR has awarded emergency rice to the government of the Lao PDR four times. WFP works with the National Disaster Prevention and Control Committee at the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare in order to ensure logistics are in place for the distribution of the emergency rice.
The current distribution in 34 districts of five southern provinces ensures that a total of 400 tonnes of rice reach over 33,000 of the most vulnerable, flood-affected people.
Jan Delbaere, WFP Country Director and Representative said: APTERR is an important mechanism to ensure that immediate food needs of the most affected populations are met on a timely basis. We at WFP are coordinating with the government of the Lao PDR to deliver the APTERR rice donated by the Republic of Korea to the ones most in need. At the same time, WFP is striving to strengthen national capacities for enhanced emergency preparedness and response. Amongst other ongoing activities, we are currently conducting training courses around the country on assembling and managing mobile storage units, which are temporary warehouses with the capacity to store and sort food supplies and relief items, as well as act as emergency shelters if needed.
Source: Lao News Agency