European Union provides assistance to victims of floods and drought in central and southern Lao PDR (04/02/2011)

The European Commission, an executive arm of the European Union, has agreed to commit a further €400,000 (Or nearly 4.4 billion Kip) for humanitarian assistance to communities suffering from food insecurity due to floods and droughts in central and southern Lao PDR.

“The European Union has recognized that rural communities in certain parts of Laos are suffering from unusual weather patterns, with flooding in central regions and long dry spells in southern Laos, “stated EU Chargé d’Affaires, Henry Prankerd. “Families still recovering from the effects of Typhoon Ketsana in particular are struggling to put food on the table.”

The European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO), responsible for the management of the assistance, is using the Small Scale Response Fund to commit €200,000 to a project to be implemented by the international NGO CARE Austria for the distribution of rice and vegetable seeds, including tools, to some 1,800 families in the southern Attapeu province. In addition, the funds will also be used to provide water wheels for irrigation systems in 3 villages and training in vegetable seed planting to improve yields.

In the central province of Khammouane, a further €200,000 will be used by the French Red Cross to distribute rice rations for three months to some 3,500 people affected by recent floods. In addition 350 families will receive livestock while seeds will be made available to rehabilitate 350 hectares of local farmland. The District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) will also benefit from further training in Disaster Risk Reduction and Data Collection, which will link this project to actions being undertaken under ECHO’s Disaster Preparedness program for Lao PDR.

Background :

ECHO has provided nearly € 14 million (nearly US$20 million) in humanitarian assistance to Lao PDR since 1998. In 2009 and 2010 alone, humanitarian assistance totaled more than €4 million to help communities in southern Lao PDR recovering from devastating floods caused by Typhoon Ketsana. In addition, disaster risk reduction measures are being supported through projects worth €860,000 funded under ECHO’s 7th Action Plan for Disaster Preparedness (DIPECHO) 2010- 2011.

For further information: Anousa Kounnavong at 021 241134 or Mathias Eick, Regional Information Officer, ECHO, rio@echo-bangkok.org