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UNFPA and Plan International Provide Essential Supplies to the Migrant Returnees

Vientiane Capital, 1 October 2021 – Approximately 12,000 women and young female migrants in the quarantine centers in the 5 southern provinces will receive essential sanitary and hygiene kits, including sanitary pads, soaps, reusable face masks, insect repellents, whistles, handwashing gel and other essential hygiene items to improve sanitation, support protection and prevent further COVID-19 infection. In the rapidly changing situation, UNFPA and Plan International are working closely with relevant government authorities to distribute the hygiene and sanitation kits at relevant sites.

 

The UNFPA and Plan International collaboration is in support of the Government of Laos’ efforts to protect women and girls and improve prevention of COVID-19 within the quarantine centers of the 5 southern provinces. The collaboration combines a contribution of  USD 145,000 by Plan International channeled through UNFPA ‘s network of partnerships and services. This continues the well established collaboration between the two organisations in support of the Noi Adolescent Girls Framework and Ecosystem of programing.   

 

The highest numbers of COVID-19 affected migrant workers have returned to the 5 provinces, Bolikhamsay, Khammouan, Savannakhet, Champassak, and Saravane. It is anticipated that most Lao migrant workers in Thailand will return to Laos over the next few months. This will lead to approximately 15,000-18,000 people passing through the quarantine facilities every two weeks over the same time.  It is critical that there is continuity of essential services for women and girls, including provision of maternal health, sexual and reproductive health, protection services for women and girls. The distribution of the essential items will start immediately in response to the large numbers of female migrants in the state run quarantine facilities.

 

Madam Invalahn Keobounphanh, President of Lao Women Union, welcomed the support and supplies from UNFPA and Plan International: “These supplies are critical to fulfilling the health and protection needs of women and girls, especially for vulnerable female migrant workers at the quarantine centres across the most burdened provinces in the South. LWU is very pleased with this cooperation, and I extend my sincere thanks to UNFPA and Plan International for supporting LWU to respond to the priority needs of women and young females.”

 

During the crisis, gender-responsive interventions must be available to affected people, especially young girls and women across the country to prevent physical and emotional violence, and to promote sexual and reproductive health, mental health, and psychosocial well-being. UNFPA has been collaborating with the LWU and Plan International, and other development partners to ensure additional attention and gender-responsive measures are implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Mariam A. Khan, the Representative of UNFPA Laos, said, “We are pleased that the partnership with Plan International has been so effective and quick to respond to the needs of female returning migrants. The generous contribution by Plan International will protect women and girls to stay safe and healthy. Meanwhile, UNFPA has issued a practical Guidance Note that partners and sectors can use in support of ensuring women and girls centered response to COVID-19.

It is crucial that in any emergency the differential needs of women and the most marginalized are prioritized and addressed. We are happy to have immediately mobilized resources to support the Government of Lao PDR and UNFPA in providing the hygiene kits to returning women migrants from Thailand. We will continue to support the joint efforts at combating COVID-19 in Laos,” said Mr. Soumya Brata Guha, the Country Director to Plan International Laos.

 

 

 

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About UNFPA

UNFPA is the United Nations 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.

 

About Plan International Laos

 

Since 2007, Plan International Laos has been implementing health and education activities in the target schools in Bokeo, Oudomxay, and Saravane Provinces to increase children in particular girls and young women’s voice, capacity, and leadership in social planning and decision making in their priorities. Plan International also promotes rights and gender equality with village leaders, parents, and teachers as girls’ allies to support their participation and leadership.

 

Plan International has worked with the national and local task force against COVID-19 to ensure children, young people, and villagers, especially ethnic and people with hearing impairment access COVID-19 prevention messages and disinfection and sanitation kits since April 2020.

 

http://plan-international.org/laos 

https://www.facebook.com/planinlaos 

 

For more information please contact:

 

Ms. Sisouvanh Vorabouth, Programme Gender Analyst, UNFPA Laos

Email: vorabouth@unfpa.org

 

Ms. Vanly Lorkuangming, Communications and Partnership Analyst, UNFPA Laos

Email: lorkuangming@unfpa.org

 

Mr. Noy Promsouvanh, Communication Manager, Plan International Laos

Email: noy.promsouvanh@plan-international.org