FAO in Lao People's Democratic Republic

Lao People's Democratic Republic Forges Ahead with National Anticipatory Action Technical Working Group, Ushering in Proactive Disaster Risk Reduction


Vientiane, Lao PDR (13 December 2023) - In a decisive move towards proactive disaster management, Lao PDR has put its effort to establish the National Anticipatory Action Technical Working Group (AA TWG). This initiative signifies a fundamental shift in the country's approach to disaster risk reduction, transitioning from reactive response to anticipatory action aimed at minimizing the impact of impending disasters.

Jointly launched by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MoLSW) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the AA TWG brings together a diverse group of stakeholders, including government agencies, UN agencies, and civil society organizations. This collaborative platform will spearhead the development and implementation of a comprehensive AA framework for Lao PDR.

"This momentous occasion marks a turning point in our approach to disaster management," stated Mr. Souphonesay Lorphengsy, Deputy Director General of Social Welfare Department of MoLSW. "By embracing proactive measures to mitigate the impacts of disasters before they strike, we can safeguard lives, livelihoods, and vital infrastructure."

The AA approach utilizes pre-approved funding triggered by predetermined indicators, enabling swift early action to prevent or minimize disaster-related damage. This proactive strategy not only protects vulnerable populations with dignity but also offers a cost-effective way to utilize humanitarian resources.

Mr. Chanthalath Pongmala, Assistant FAO Representative to Lao PDR, emphasized the significance of this collaborative initiative, stating, "This program exemplifies the strong partnership between the Lao government and key stakeholders in proactive disaster risk reduction in Lao PDR,. We are firmly confident that the AA TWG will play a pivotal role in building a more resilient Lao PDR."

The AA TWG's core responsibilities include establishing AA triggers for action, documenting AA delivery and impact, and formulating an AA Action Plan. This collaborative effort will leverage the expertise of all stakeholders to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of AA in Lao PDR.

As part of a pilot program funded by the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO) and implemented by FAO, the AA initiative has already achieved significant strides since its launch in 2021. Initiatives such as raising awareness of AA, developing a drought AA trigger methodology, and drafting a drought AA protocol have paved the way for the establishment of the National AA TWG.

With the formation of the National AA TWG, Lao PDR has embarked on a remarkable journey towards a more resilient future. This proactive approach to disaster management demonstrates the country's unwavering commitment to protecting its citizens and safeguarding its development progress.