WFP Lao PDR Country Brief, January 2024


In Numbers

– 111 Metric Tons of food distributed
– US$0.96 million six-month (February-July 2024) net funding requirements
– 74,579 people assisted in January

Situation update

WFP’s mobile food security monitoring from September 2023 revealed that:

– Food insecurity is disproportionate across the country, with an average of 1 in 7 families found to be food insecure (14 percent). A third of families in Sekong province are food insecure.
– 1 in 5 families has insufficient food consumption (21 percent).
– Rural households are nearly twice more likely to be food insecure than urban households (16 percent vs. 9 percent respectively).
– 46 percent of families use food-based coping strategies to make ends meet, while 58 percent use livelihood-based coping strategies.
– Families worry most about rising food prices (29 percent) and lack of jobs/livelihoods (15 percent).

Operational Updates

WFP started dispatching food to school in January. Annual programme planning meetings for implementing school meals programmes with support from the US Department of Agriculture were held in two districts with the participation of provincial and district education authorities. Farmers received information on the support they will receive under the smallholder agriculture component of the programme.

On 12 January, the Vice Minister of Health, Dr. Snong Thongsna, led a delegation with representatives from various ministries and partners to observe the rice fortification process at a rice milling company in Savannakhet Province. WFP locally sourced 150 mt of rice which was blended with fortified rice kernels. This will help address micronutrient deficiencies through the national school meals programme. The pilot is done in partnership between the ministries of Health and Education, through a contractual agreement with a private miller.

WFP, in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, delivered a second and last training on hazard, vulnerability and assessments (HVCA). HVCA aims to increase technical knowledge and capacity in data collection and analysis focused on climate change, disaster risk reduction, disaster management cycle, hazard identification and ranking, seasonal calendar, and vulnerability and disaster risk mapping. This aims to identify community activities that reduce disaster risk and enhance climate resilience. Following the training, community consultations commenced in late January and will be completed in February 2024.

WFP, in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and Lao Red Cross, organized an After-Action Review and Closing Meeting for the Lean Season Response during the rainy season of 2023 for 110,000 vulnerable people in 16 districts. The closing meeting brought together representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare at both national and provincial levels, Lao Red Cross, Swiss Red Cross and WFP, providing insights for future crisis responses.