The Australian Government Supports UNICEF’s Emergency Response to Floods in Laos
Vientiane, Lao PDR, 27 August 2018
Vientiane, Lao PDR, 27 August 2018 – The Australian Government has granted to UNICEF the sum of AUD 530,000 (about USD 400,000) to provide support for the humanitarian and emergency relief work for Lao PDR in response to the floods in Attapeu Province with a focus on nutrition, child protection and education.
About 13,000 people have been affected by the floods and more than 4,000 are in emergency shelters, according to the latest Situation Report issued by the United Nations. The funds will help to conduct a rapid nutrition assessment in the camps and host communities, strengthen the capacity of relevant actors in the affected areas to manage moderate and severe acute malnutrition cases, and carry out outreach activities, including the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding and the dissemination of key health and hygiene related messages.
In addition, the contribution from the Australian Government will be used to conduct a child protection mapping of issues, risks, services and capacities in the affected and surrounding areas, and to establish Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) in emergency 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 development partners, including UNICEF, to ensure the immediate needs of those affected by the floods are met. In this regard, we have provided Non-Food Items, such as Early Childhood Development kits, tents and even solar lights to help families in the aftermath of the disaster,” said Jean-Bernard Carrasco, Australian Ambassador to Lao PDR.
In emergency situations, CFS’s play a very important role in giving a child a sense of normalcy amid chaos as they offer a safe space to run, sing, play and learn together. They also provide children with health services like vaccinations, malnutrition screenings or psychosocial support.
“We welcome this grant from the Australian Government, thanks to which, in locations where schools will not be able to be restored before the start of the school-year, Child Friendly Spaces could be used as temporary learning spaces to progressively restore formal education. The funds will also be used to collect and consolidate data on affected school-aged children, teachers, school facilities and required materials; provide teaching-learning materials to the affected schools and children; and train teachers on psychosocial support and child protection,” Myo Zin Nyunt, UNICEF Acting Representative stated.
UNICEF is closely monitoring the situation in Attapeu and working in coordination with the Government of Lao PDR, development partners and other UN agencies to ensure that those in need receive support in the short, medium and long term.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.