Japan, WFP helps recover Laos’ communities from floods


VIENTIANE, Feb 22 (Vientiane Times/ANN): The government of Japan is contributing 180 million Japanese yen (US$ 1.7 million) over two years to ease the impacts of heavy rains and floods in Savannakhet and Laos’ southern provinces.

he Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, the Embassy of Japan to the Lao PDR and the World Food Programme (WFP) in Feb 19 agreed on working together in support the communities suffering from the impacts of climate change.

The floods in October 2020 have wiped out rice yields, adding to pre-existing challenges for families in the area who are regularly facing rice shortages of up to three months each year.

Under the agreement from 2021 to 2022, the WFP will distribute three months’ worth of rice to an estimated 35,000 people. In order to support recovery efforts and build long-term resilience of these communities.

The WFP will also support the rehabilitation of agricultural infrastructure affected by the floods.

In exchange for their labour, villagers will receive rice and help build and rehabilitate communal infrastructure including agricultural land, irrigation and drainage channels, roads and other community needs.

These assets will help communities have a better chance at good harvests and become more resilient against climate-related hazards.

According to the agreement of the Japanese contribution, WFP will purchase 1,115 metric tonnes of rice benefitting 35,000 people in 65 communities in central and Laos’ southern provinces.

WFP will also provide training to help the communities manage these structures, generate more income and prepare for future mishaps.

“We are facing more challenges due to natural disasters and climate change.Through this project, the Government of Japan will reach out to the communities and the people in the affected areas in collaboration with the WFP.” said the Ambassador of Japan to Laos, Takewaka Keizo. “We also support green growth in order to ensure sustainability of natural resources and resilience against the dammage from natural disasters.”

Japan is a long-term supporter of WFP’s work in Laos. Since 2014, the Japanese Government has provided US$ 12.7 million worth of contributions.

The WFP National Director Jan Delbaere said, “to rely on contributions from the people of Japan that Food security is the basic ingredient of empowered societies while laying the groundwork for Lao government’s social and economic development through realising Zero Hunger”. - Vientiane Times/ANN

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