The government of the Republic of Korea has approved US$15 million (over 128 billion kip) to implement a flood recovery programme and assist the people of Sanamxay district in Attapeu province.
Speaking at a press conference in Vientiane yesterday, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Laos, Mr Shin Sung-soon, said his government had approved US$15 million in Official Development Assistance this year in support of Attapeu province.
“US$12 million comes from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and US$2.8 million is from the Korea Foundation for International Healthcare,” he said.
Resident Representative of KOICA to Laos, Mr Sungsoo Oh, said they had been carrying out the project in Sanamxay district since January after funding was approved by the Korean government.
“We are setting up a mid-term recovery programme in Attapeu running from 2019-2023 at a cost of US$12 million. The programme will focus on the sectors of health, child protection, education, livelihood support, and disaster risk management,” he said.
In the health sector, US$3 million will be spent on the construction of a hospital and health centre in Sanamxay district and the provision of training for staff at the provincial hospital, district hospital, and health centre.
For education, US$1.8 million will be used to build three semi-permanent schools in Dongbak, Donbok and Pindong villages and to provide equipment. Three permanent schools will be built in Dongbak and Pindong together with equipment and teacher training workshops, and support for disaster resistance education.
“In terms of child protection, we have allocated a budget of US$2.5 million to carry out campaign activities,” Mr Sungsoo Oh said.
With regard to livelihood support in Sanamxay district, KOICA is using US$2.5 million to support vocational training in cooperation with a skills development centre, and providing agricultural hand tools and seeds for flood-affected people.
KOICA is also providing US$500,000 to improve the training curriculum on disaster preparedness and risk management while also strengthening the information management system and linkages at the Emergency Operation Centre with provincial and district levels.
Country Representative of the Korea Foundation for International Healthcare, Mr Juwang Baik, said support for flood recovery and the improvement of the disaster management system for 2019-2020 would cost US$400,000.
Upgrade of the health system in Sanamxay district would take place from 2021-2025 and cost US$2.4 million, he added.
Since the flood caused by the collapse of a saddle dam at the Xe-Pien Xe-Namnoy hydro project in Sanamxay district last year, the Korean government has provided support for the recovery effort including the dispatch of Korean emergency teams on three occasions along with other forms of donation.
A Korean Disaster Relief Team (KDRT) composed of medics, nurses and support staff was sent. KOICA volunteers to Laos supported the team and provided treatment for 2,430 displaced people, according to staff at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to Laos.
The Korean government also donated medicines and medical equipment worth US$170,000 and provided US$500,000 through the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare. Military aircraft carried relief supplies such as blankets, clothing and sanitary items worth US$240,000, and 1,000 tonnes of Korean rice were provided to help the people of Sanamxay district.
Korea also provided US$300,000 to help improve the lives of children in Attapeu province through better child care and protection, in cooperation with UNICEF.