The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) is a small and sparsely populated, low income food deficit country (LIFDC). Natural disasters and the rapid implementation of certain national policies are affecting the livelihoods and food security of many already poor households and communities. Droughts, flash floods and pest infestation regularly occur all over the country, requiring livelihood resilience support to affected communities. UXO (unexploded ordinance) contamination is still high along the Vietnamese border, limiting land availability for agriculture expansion. Many communities in the north and east have lost a substantial part of their income through the successful eradication of opium poppy cultivation and have, thus far, not been able to adjust their livelihoods. All over the country, the livelihoods of communities are affected by implementation of the village consolidation and resettlement policy through which the Government aims at creating pre-conditions for the delivery of basic services. There is evidence that HIV/AIDS is a threat that would affect the food security of families of infected people.
While many poor, rural communities face recurring and even simultaneous livelihood shocks through natural disasters which lead to crop losses and thus food insecurity, policy induced shocks have caused communities to lose their entire livelihoods. They have not received the anticipated support through targeted interventions. With their meager economic asset buffers being rapidly depleted, they now face an acute livelihoods and food security crisis. Both groups are in need of relief and recovery assistance as measures to prevent hunger and recover from these livelihood shocks.
The main objectives of this PRRO therefore had been to prevent the deterioration of the nutritional status, improve household food security, and build livelihood opportunities by providing food assistance to some 272,000 vulnerable food insecure people. This was done through a relief assistance during the most critical times; the creation of a physical and human asset through Food for Work (FFW) and Food for Training (FFT); the provision of support to HIV/AIDS patients and their families with an incentive to adhere to their anti retroviral treatment (ART). These objectives were hoped to contribute to WFP Strategic Objective 2 and were in accordance with the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2007-2011 and the Joint Statement on Aid Effectiveness in the Lao PDR (2006).