Government, FAO prepare for drought anticipatory cash simulation exercise in Luang Prabang

09/06/2023 21:27
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KPL (KPL) The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW) organized a four-day drought Anticipatory Action (AA) cash distribution simulation exercise in Nardkham Village and Pounglarn Village, Pakxaeng District, Luang Prabang Province.


(KPL) The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW) organized a four-day drought Anticipatory Action (AA) cash distribution simulation exercise in Nardkham Village and Pounglarn Village, Pakxaeng District, Luang Prabang Province.

The simulation exercise aimed to test the effectiveness of the process to distribute cash assistance ahead of a forecast drought at the village level through the cash-in-envelope delivery modality. The simulation also tested early warning message dissemination based on the trigger methodology. The simulation exercise was implemented as part of the “Increasing Capacities and Scale for Anticipatory Actions Including through Social Protection Systems” project, funded by the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO) through its Pilot Programmatic Partnership (PPP) with FAO.

In Laos floods and droughts are recurrent hazards that often threaten the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable populations. To address the issue, FAO and MoLSW have collectively developed an Anticipatory Action Protocol tailored to mitigate the impact of agricultural droughts on communities. Multi-purpose cash transfer, tested in the simulation exercise, is one of the drought anticipatory actions selected through a series of consultations with government partners and at-risk communities. Valuable insights and lessons learned from the simulation will inform the Protocol and improve the implementation process.

Mr. Somsanith Heuangmany, Vice Governor of Pakxaeng District, Luang Prabang Province, emphasised that “this thorough simulation exercise helps the project team to understand cash delivery modality under the drought scenario. Importantly, we will learn the effectiveness of the communication channels throughout the process from the central to province, district and village levels. Ultimately, the exercise will assist us to review and assess the procedures, operational plans and guidelines, including clarification on roles and responsibilities, to ensure smooth operating procedures once the drought is predicted.”

 “Last year, the village experienced quite bad weather, specifically dry conditions, leading to less rice yield. We could not produce sufficient surplus like previous years for selling to get extra incomes,” said Ms. Daovone Souphakhone, a primary school teacher at Nardkham Village.

She stated that the process of receiving LAK100,000 in cash as part of the Cash Simulation Exercise went smoother than expected. She said even though the amount was not huge, she would spend it on food for the family of 7 members.

This drought AA cash distribution simulation exercise was conducted from 23 to 26 May 2023 in Pakxaeng District, Luang Prabang Province. The first day focused on the preparedness phase, and on the second and third days, the project team simulated cash distribution in Nardkham and Pounglarn villages respectively. The last day of the cash simulation exercise was set to allow the project team to digest and reflect on the lessons learned and feedback.

This AA cash simulation exercise was participated by key personnel from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, at national and sub-national levels. The exercise was also observed by World Vision.

KPL

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