Food Security Atlas for Lao PDR
“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food, and to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life."
World Food Summit Plan of Action (Rome Italy 13 November 1996).
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) is one of the least developed countries in the world. Despite overall economic growth, the rural economy is based almost entirely on subsistence agriculture.
Drought is recurrent in the north and east. Flash floods regularly occur in the rainy season. Large parts of the east and south are still contaminated by unexploded ordnance from the Second Indochina War.
WFP began providing emergency assistance to the Lao PDR in 1976 in response to natural disasters. Since opening a Country Office in 2000, WFP has increasingly focused on recovery and development programmes aimed at relieving seasonal rice shortfalls. WFP’s goals are to help communities achieve food security, and to improve access to primary education in remote areas.
In 2008, WFP operated in 87 districts in all 17 provinces and in almost 1,900 villages across the country. WFP distributed 11,319 tons of food to almost 480 thousand food insecure men, women and children. The School Feeding programme supported about 90,000 children in 1,100 schools – about 90 percent of total students in WFP-assisted provinces.
The high chronic malnutrition rate of children below 5 is alarming and poses a challenge to WFP for the years to come: in rural Laos every second child is chronically malnourished.
Primary Education for Girls and Boys in Remote Areas
This project, implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Education, aims to increase school enrollment and attendance rates and improve students’ concentration by providing nutritious mid-morning snacks and take-home rations for girls, boys and informal boarders. A joint Access to Basic Education Programme in Laos (ABEL) is being implemented with UNICEF since 2006.
Assistance to Food-Insecure Households in Transition
This project, implemented in collaboration with NGOs and development agencies provides households with food rations in exchange for building productive assets such as access roads, paddy land and irrigations channels. It focuses on ethnic minority communities in transition from shifting cultivation and opium production to alternative means of living.
Assistance to Food Insecure Households Affected by Multiple Livelihood Stocks
The PRRO targets households affected by multiple shocks such as opium eradication, relocation to villages closer to roads, and the ban on shifting cultivation, localized natural disasters (floods, drought and pests), unexploded ordnance contamination and HIV/AIDS
Download Lao PDR Country Sheet here