(KPL) The Lao PDR and the United
States are working to reduce child stunting through USAID Nurture, a US$ 3.7
million United States Government development project funded by the U.S. Agency
for International Development.
On February 03, the Lao government
signed a memorandum of understanding with Save the Children, the prime
implementing partner for the programme.
Through this programme Save the
Children will work in partnership with Lao officials and communities to improve
household nutrition, water, sanitation, and hygiene practices in six districts
across Savannakhet and Khammouan Provinces.
"The United States is committed
to working in close collaboration with the government and people of the Lao PDR
to improve maternal and child nutrition,” said U.S. Ambassador to the Lao PDR
Rena Bitter. “We consider this an investment in the future of the people of
Laos and we are proud to be part of that.”
Although significant advancements
have been made to reduce malnutrition in recent years, children in Laos remain
undernourished with national prevalence of stunting at 36 per cent, underweight
at 26 per cent, and wasting at nearly 10 per cent.
The USAID Nurture programme seeks to
educate mothers about benefits of exclusive breastfeeding and other appropriate
infant and young child feeding practices.
The programme will also increase
access to and use of improved sanitation.
Linking the health sector and communities helps villages assess,
analyze, and address their own needs to improve sanitation and hygiene.
Health professionals, community
volunteers, and peer groups will offer support by going door-to-door and
helping mothers and children during the first 1,000 days -- from pregnancy to
when the child is two years old.
The programme, which works with the
private sector to supply products, such as latrines and soap, aims to assist