Civil Society supports Lao government response to COVID-19 prevention across 10 provinces

31/05/2021 09:31
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KPL (KPL) Ten Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on May 28 signed partnership agreements to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in 10 provinces across Lao PDR. These 10 CSO projects will reach over 140,000 people across 109 villages in 19 Districts, including providing 88 handwashing stations and other COVID prevention support to 63 schools, 17 health centres and 15 markets.

(KPL) Ten Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on May 28 signed partnership agreements to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in 10 provinces across Lao PDR. These 10 CSO projects will reach over 140,000 people across 109 villages in 19 Districts, including providing 88 handwashing stations and other COVID prevention support to 63 schools, 17 health centres and 15 markets.

The 12-month partnership agreements were signed with Plan International in Lao PDR to implement activities as part of the ‘Civil Society Action to Prevent and Mitigate COVID-19’ (CiSAC) project, which will improve the nations’ long-term response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. This project is generously funded by the European Union to contribute to Lao PDR’s COVID-19 response.

Each CSO will receive 250,000,000LAK for a total value of 2,500,000,000LAK to fight COVID-19. These are the first 10 of 40 grants that will be provided to CSOs during the CiSAC project which will be implemented across 10 provinces until August 2023 with funding from the European Union. The CSO projects will increase community preparedness and response to COVID-19, as well as reduce the negative health and livelihoods impacts from the global pandemic.

The project implementation will be coordinated through the Lao Civil Society Coordination Network and led by Plan International in Lao PDR, together with two Lao CSOs, Sustainable Agriculture and Environment for Development Association (SAEDA) and Community Health and Inclusion Association (CHIas). These three organisations will support 20 CSOs to implement small projects in 10 provinces that will help to reduce the risks of COVID, including by increasing access to COVID information, improving hygiene practices and planning for COVID responses, including support to vaccination plans. The project will benefit many Lao people, including Lao workers returning to Laos and communities living in high-risk villages across 10 provinces including Bokeo, Luang Namtha, Xayabouly, Luang Prabang, Vientiane Province, Vientiane Capital, Savannakhet, Champasak, Bolikhamxay and Khammouane. All actions will be coordinated with local authorities responsible through the COVID-19 Taskforce at the national, provincial and district levels.

Earlier in the week, the CISAC project team provided the Ministry of Health with 88,775,000 LAK of materials and operational support for their COVID response at the national level. The support provided to the Department of Communicable Disease Control will allow their staff to coordinate the response outbreak both in Vientiane Capital and nationally. The funding included a computer and printer, along with PPE and operational support for members of the COVID Task Force to monitor and coordinate the current outbreak.

Vimala Dejvongsa, the Plan International in Laos Deputy Country Director for Programs, said at the event that “Civil Society Organisations have been responding to the prevention of COVID since last year. This funding will double our efforts and allow Lao CSOs’ interventions to spread wider across 10 provinces and the country. This will not only support communities to stop the spread of COVID, but it will focus on reversing some of the negative impacts from COVID, including financial and social burdens on women and girls. These projects will help women, girls and their communities to prevent and recover from COVID-19.”

In her comments at the signing ceremony, Ms. Ina Marčiulionytė, the Ambassador for European Union to Lao stated: “We congratulate the genuine efforts of the Government in collaboration with Development Partners, the private sector, and other stakeholders, to contain the spread of this second wave, which has been relatively limited so far, while rolling out the vaccination as quickly as possible. I also congratulate the 10 CSOs who got awarded a grant. I am confident that you will contribute successfully to the fight against COVID19 in Lao PDR and demonstrate that civil society has a very important role in supporting effectively the local authorities and communities in this regard.”

The CISAC project funding is part of the Team Europe response to COVID-19, provided by the European Union. It aims to support the government of Lao PDR to mitigate the health, social and economic impacts of the pandemic, and it enhances the effective cooperation with Civil Society Organisations. The funding provided under this project is specific for civil society organisations. The European Union has also launched a project with the Ministry of Health and WHO that includes funding to support the government’s direct response to COVID-19. This is a global effort and the European Union is proud to partner with the Lao government and Lao civil society to reduce the negative impacts from this disease, both health impacts as well as impacts to livelihoods.

 

 

KPL

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