Press Release

Supporting the floods victims: UNFPA hands over dignity kits to Lao Women’s Union

5 November 2020
Supporting the floods victims: UNFPA hands over dignity kits to Lao Women’s Union

Vientiane Capital, 5/11/2020. Responding to the recent floods that have affected the country, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) handed over 200 sets of Dignity kits to the Lao Women’s Union. They will be routed to the flood-affected families, especially women and girls of  reproductive age (15-49) in Savannakhet province.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare reported that Savannakhet, Vilabouly, Nong, Phin and Xepon districts were hit by flash flooding amid torrential rains last month (October 2020) that lasted a week. National interventions are underway for a rapid response to leave no one stranded by the floods in the affected villages. 

According to the Savannakhet's situation report, 32,898 people across five districts have been affected by the floods, and 2,623 people have been evacuated. Those rescued were placed in temporary centres, tents, schools and relatives' houses.
    
Each year, the floods hit various districts, particularly in rural areas where residents already face huge challenges to access health facilities and seek care and support due to the rough roads and long distances to walk. The natural disasters only exacerbate difficulties accessing primary services, including sexual and reproductive health. Residents, especially women and children, not only lost their homes and livelihoods due to the floods but they also lack basic necessities.

It is these basic necessities that are often forgotten during emergencies. However, women continue to give birth, and girls will require menstruation pads and hygiene. Those necessities do not stop in these humanitarian circumstances--rather, they are needed more than ever. 

The donation represents humanitarian assistance and contribution from UNFPA to the Lao Government. To protect the dignity and wellbeing of women, particularly pregnant women and adolescent girls, Affected women and girls of 200 families will receive  towels,  pairs of shoes,  whistles,  mosquito repellants,  soap boxes, toothpaste, toothbrushes, cotton T-shirts, LED flashlights, skirts for women (Lao Sinh tam),  sanitary packs, plastic bowls, waterproof bags to pack all items,  packs of combs,  pairs of underwear, and  plastic bag. These kits will be provided on 8th-10th November to at least, 

“Well-being of women and girls are the central to UNFPA work. When disaster strikes, we at UNFPA ensure that reproductive health needs and protection  of women and girls  receive immediate attention. The dignity kits meet the basic needs of women and girls for hygiene , mobility and psychosocial social wellbeing” said Ms. Mariam A. Khan ,Representative of UNFPA in Lao PDR. 

“UNFPA is a long term ally to the Lao PDR gov  helping afford rapid response during humanitarian settings. UNFPA contribution plays an essential to advance the protection of women and girls from Gender Based Violence and to close the gap by responding to the needs of the affected families, especially women and adolescent girls” said  Mrs. Inlavanh Keobounphanh , President of Lao Women’s Union 

UNFPA in Lao PDR has always expressed its readiness to support the Government on the ground and to coordinate the response to the immediate needs of affected families, and will continue to do so as the need arises.

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UNFPA, the UN's sexual and reproductive health agency, works in over 150 countries including Lao PDR, to achieve zero maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning and zero gender-based violence and harmful practices towards women and girls.