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VIENTIANE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) to work together to prepare for and respond to natural disasters in Lao PDR.
H.E. Sisavath Vithasay, Vice Minister of MONRE, met with Bradley Guerrant, WFP Lao PDR Country Director, to discuss future emergency response coordination with the Ministry.
WFP reaffirmed its readiness to support the Government's capacity building efforts for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Disaster Risk Management (DRM), as well as providing food and nutrition assistance to disaster- affected populations in large-scale emergencies.
"By signing this agreement, WFP reaffirms its commitment to working with the Government to strengthen the country's ability and capacity to cope with natural disasters and emergencies," said Guerrant.
By the end of 2015, it is expected that, with the support of WFP, MONRE will have standard procedures and systems in place for reducing risk and managing risk, as well as the technical capacities to timely and effectively respond to natural disasters.
"We are very glad to be signing an agreement with WFP. This will help ensure that our ongoing disaster risk management and climate change adaptation programmes assist the most vulnerable and food insecure people in Lao PDR," said Vithasay. "WFP's technical capacity support will provide the knowledge and means to ensure we are able to respond to emergency situations in a timely and efficient manner."
WFP will continue to work together with the government to provide nutritional food assistance to vulnerable communities affected by natural disasters.
WFP Lao PDR's emergency preparedness and response programme is generously supported by the Government of Australia, the European Commission's body for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Last year, WFP reached more than 97 million people in 80 countries with food assistance.
In 2012, WFP Lao PDR provided over 3,200 metric tons of food to more than 225,000 people throughout the country. To learn more about WFP operations in Lao PDR, visit our website: http://www.wfp.org/countries/laos Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wfplaos
For more information please contact: Mingngakham Pangnasak Public Information Officer, WFP Lao PDR Tel: (856-21) 330 300 ext. 2225 Mob: (856-20) 55528637 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org