Vientiane, Lao PDR, 30 October 2019 – The Australian Government provided AUD 250,000 (about 1.5 billion kip) to support the Government of Lao PDR assist those affected by the recent floods in Attapeu, Champasak, Khammouan, Saravane, Savannakhet and Sekong provinces. The funding has been granted to UNICEF to focus on education and nutrition.
On 28 October 2019, the Australian Ambassador, H.E. Mr Jean-Bernard Carrasco, met with the Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, H.E. Mr Khampheng Saysompheng, to seek an update on the flooding and discuss Australia’s support.
According to the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, about 765,000 people in 44 districts across the six southern provinces were affected by the floods since early September, and almost 195,000 displaced. The floods damaged properties, farmlands and infrastructure, including homes, schools, hospitals and health centers.
“The Australian Government stands with the people of Lao PDR. We are working hand-in-hand with national and local authorities as well as with UNICEF, to ensure that the needs of those affected by the floods are met. This new partnership agreement with UNICEF builds on a previous one to support the recovery of Attapeu following the 2018 floods,” said Ambassador Carrasco.
The assistance will focus on addressing the impact of the floods on children’s schooling and their health and nutrition. In particular, the funds will help provide essential education materials as well as equipment for health screening and treatment of children in health centers, and district and provincial hospitals, paying special attention to the most affected districts which will be jointly identified with the respective ministries and provincial authorities.
“We welcome this grant from the Australian Government, thanks to which, UNICEF will support the Government to consolidate data on the affected school-aged children, teachers, school facilities and required material; and provide teaching-learning materials. The funds will also be used to assess the number of children 0-59 months who suffer from wasting; strengthen the capacity of health workers and village health volunteers in the affected areas to screen for, identify, manage and report on numbers of children under five who are moderately or severely wasted and provide treatment; and to procure equipment for affected health centers and hospitals,” stated Dr. Octavian Bivol, UNICEF Representative.
The support from Australia will contribute to UNICEF’s regular programming on education; health and nutrition; water, sanitation and hygiene and child protection and will contribute to strengthen emergency preparedness.
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