Joint Media Advisory: UN food agencies to visit Lao PDR to support efforts to boost nutrition

Focus includes school meals and agriculture for nutrition, 14-16 May 2019

10 May 2019, Rome - The Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), with a representative from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), will visit the Lao People's Democratic Republic from 14-16 May 2019 to raise greater awareness about the importance of integrated food systems to improve food and nutrition security, and to see first-hand the agencies' collaborative programmes in action.

During their visit, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and WFP Executive Director David Beasley will meet the Lao PDR Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith as well as the ministers for Foreign Affairs and Agriculture.

They will visit several sites where a food security and nutrition project is being implemented to help boost nutrition in rural areas, in joint collaboration between FAO, IFAD and WFP, and with the Government of Lao PDR and other partners.

Lao PDR has made good progress over the past twenty years in reducing poverty and hunger. However, a diversified, healthy diet is beyond the economic means of many families, and stunting caused by malnutrition affects around one third of children aged under five.

The three UN agency representatives will visit the country's north where the Agriculture for Nutrition programme is benefiting around 400 villages in four northern provinces. They will also visit a school programme that provides healthy meals to children and encourages local food production.

FAO, IFAD and WFP are working closely together to support countries including Lao PDR to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, which include eradicating hunger and all forms of malnutrition.