Asean Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve 

 The APTERR Secretariat, led by Dr. Choomjet Karnjanakesorn, General Manager (GM), together with Mr. Toshiki Tojo, Japanese Expert, as well as the APTERR staff, visited Lao PDR during 13-16 March 2023 to monitor the distribution of Japan’s 300-MT rice contributed to support people affected by devastating floods and landslides and to discuss with various government and international humanitarian agencies in enhancing food security in the country.  

 

This rice assistance is part of a release of 1,000-MT rice assistance: 300 MT from Japan and 700 MT from the Republic of Korea, under APTERR Tier 3 programme to help over 211,312 people affected by the said calamities in country’s 13 provinces including Vientiane capital.  

 

 

1

 Dr. Thatsaka Saphangthong, Director General of Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF),
Lao PDR and the APTER Council member

 

 

2

Dr. Thatsaka Saphangthong, Director General of Department of Planning and Cooperation,
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF),
Lao PDR and the APTER Council member; and Mr. Sakprasit Manibud,
an officer of Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), Lao PDR

 

 

 

On 13 March 2023, the APTERR Secretariat paid a courtesy call to Dr. Thatsaka Saphangthong, Director General of Department of Planning and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) and the APTERR Council in the MAF office in Vientiane. Both had a fruitful discussion and, during the meeting, Dr. Thatsaka expressed his impression to the APTERR Secretariat in continually helping calamity-affected people in Lao PDR. Meanwhile, the APTERR Secretariat took the opportunity to promote Tier 1 and Tier 3 programmes. In addition, Mr. Tojo provided further information on Japan’s new initiatives under Tier 3 to support a timely and effective rice assistance: Precooked rice and School Distribution Programme.

 

 

 

3 

Director-General of Social Welfare Department of Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MLSW),
Oudomxay; Mr. Vongkham Phanthanouvong,
 Director-General of Social Welfare Department, and Mr. Phosavanh Thammavong, an officer,
Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MLSW); Mr. Sakprasit Manibod, an officer,
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF); and Ms. Khameuay Thammavong,
an Official of ASEAN Economic Community Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lao PDR

 

 

 

On 14 March 2023, the APTERR Secretariat was accompanied with the Lao team led by Mr. Vongkham Phanthanouvong, Director-General of Social Welfare Department, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (MLSW) together with officials from the MLSW: Mr. Phosavanh Thammavong, and from the MAF, Mr. Sakprasit Manibod to Oudomxay province. This trip, Ms. Khameuay Thammavong, an Official of ASEAN Economic Community Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Ryoya Tasai, a Programme Policy Officer (Nutrition), World Food Programme (WFP), Lao PDR also joined the programme to observe the rice distribution. The group was all warmly welcomed from the MLSW provincial office and had a productive discussion and exchanged information related to the disastrous impacts of floods and landslides in the province and the process of APTERR assistance in order to provide timely assistance to disaster-prone areas.

 

 

“We appreciated the APTERR Secretariat. It was our pleasure to boost the cooperation with the APTERR Secretariat as well as to strengthen the assistances of rice distribution in affected areas during emergency disasters”, said Mr. Vongkham.

 

 

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4 

The APTERR Secretariat was appreciated in providing the rice assistance.

 

 

 

In the same day, the APTERR Secretariat together with the officers from Lao PDR visited affected areas in Muang Xay and had a discussion with the district officers and beneficiaries regarding the APTERR rice assistance. In the district, an amount of donated rice was 41.93 MT for allocating to about 2,613 affected. The WFP helped facilitate the rice transportations from a warehouse in Vientiane to affected province and later the MLSW continued arranging the logistics from the province to the affected areas respectively.

 

 

With a full effort of Japan and the APTERR Secretariat for rice distribution, a head of village and several villagers appreciated the assistance. “I was pleased with the rice. Its quality is very good. So, it is very tasty,” said a villager.

 

 

 

5

The APTERR Secretariat and affected people

 

 

 

Next, 15 March 2023, the APTERR Secretariat and related staff visited other affected areas in Muang La while checking a quality of donated rice and a satisfaction of affected people. An amount of rice distributed in the district was 29.280 MT. Pleasantly, those beneficiaries appreciated the assistance provided by the APTERR and were highly satisfied with the rice received.

 

 

 

6

Visit the WFP warehouse in Oudomxay, Lao PDR

 

 

 

Last day, 16 March 2023, the APTERR Secretariat visited the WFP warehouse in Oudomxay and met with the WFP staff. Both exchanged information on warehouse capacity, facilities, and maintenance services in order to support the humanitarian assistance in Lao PDR as well as to enhance further cooperation with the APTERR activities.

 

 

During this trip, the APTERR Secretariat was also grateful to the agencies giving us tremendous support. Besides, the APTERR Secretariat reiterated our unequivocal adherence to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) no. 2 with its effectiveness to support Lao PDR in safeguarding food security when facing the disasters and alleviating poverty or malnourishment.