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Flood Victims still in Need of Assistance

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Although the floods receded more than a month ago, those affected by the downpours in the northern provinces are still struggling to survive.

The government is continuing to mobilise assistance from the private sector, individuals and international organisations to aid relief efforts.

Last week the European Union released more than 82,000 euros (742million kip) in humanitarian funding to help the most vulnerable communities affected by floods that have affected several parts of the country since August.

According to the Lao Red Cross, the floods inundated close to 20,000 people in the provinces of Luang Prabang, Oudomxay, Saravan, Xayaboury and Xieng Khuang, with more than 12,000 of the impacted households in Oudomxay alone.

Four people died and houses, roads, irrigation systems, bridges, personal property and farmland were all damaged to varying degrees, while livestock and poultry perished.

With the rains expected to persist at least until October, humanitarian experts from the European Commission are working closely in conjunction with partners on the ground to continue monitoring the situation.

Many people are still struggling to recover their lives, build new homes and overcome various challenges.

This latest tranche of aid will directly benefit 5,000 people who been heavily affected in the north-western province of Oudomxay, which was the hardest hit.

This EU funding supports the Lao Red Cross in delivering much-needed humanitarian assistance through the provision of food and non-food items such as rice, noodles, tinned fish, blankets and mosquito nets.

In addition, training sessions on hygiene are being organised alongside the delivery of items such as soap and female sanitary items, to ensure that good hygiene is maintained.

This funding is part of the EU’s global contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Laos suffered a series of heavy downpours in mid-August as the annual monsoon season reached its peak.

This situation, aggravated by Tropical Storm Dianmu which brought more rain to the country, forced many families to evacuate to higher ground and left swathes of agricultural land inundated.

Although the floodwaters have receded in many areas, many houses were damaged and crops destroyed.

For 2016, the European Commission has signed a 3-million-euro humanitarian contribution agreement with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to support the Federation’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund. Money from this fund is mainly allocated to small-scale disasters – those that do not result in a formal international appeal.

Various government sectors have also provided relief assistance to the affected communities in the north, amounting to over 200million kip.

 

Source: Vientiane Times