The Ministry of Health and the World Food Programme (WFP) received support worth USD 236,000 from the Government of France on Thursday, dedicated for providing food to returning migrants in 18 quarantine centres across the Lao PDR.
WFP and its implementing partners – the Swiss Red Cross, the Lao Red Cross and World Vision International – will use this donation to provide three daily nutritious meals to over 5,600 migrant workers returning from neighbouring countries.
“The recent wave of COVID-19 cases in Laos can be linked to spikes in infection rates of neighbouring countries. Quarantine centres play a vital role in preventing and controlling their spread across the country,” said Minister of Health Bounfeng Phoummalaysith. “We are happy that all Lao citizens can return home, while also protecting the many communities and families already residing here in Laos. This support contributes to curbing the spread of the pandemic.”
The provision of daily meals to returning migrant workers in these centres contributes to keeping the returnees in quarantine for their entire mandatory period. The support also helps maintain their health and wellbeing, while reducing the financial burden on them and their families.
“This food assistance is an essential part of ensuring functioning quarantine centres, which is why France has allocated this aid a second time this year after the EUR 500,000 to improve food and nutrition security in Northern Laos,” said French Ambassador to the Lao PDR Florence Jeanblanc-Risler.
“We at WFP rely on contributions from our generous partners to ensure that returning migrants come to the quarantine centres and receive 3 meals per day. Effective quarantine is so far the main reason why Laos could keep the numbers of Covid -19 cases and fatalities low, in spite of the developments in neighbouring countries. Since June 2020, we have delivered around 1.7 million meals to almost 65,000 people. We are proud to count France amongst our partners in this much-needed activity, and call on the international community to continue supporting quarantine provisions, likely remaining a key component to the suppression of COVID-19 in Laos over the short and medium term,” said WFP Country Director and Representative Jan Delbaere.
Source: Lao News Agency