The government has obtained 2,221 tonnes of rice worth over 16 billion kip from the Asean plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR+3) for distribution to flood victims in Attapeu province.
Each Asean member country has an emergency rice reserve, and the rice stock in Laos is made up of the country’s own grain supplies. The use of rice from the APTERR+3 is part of the agreed cooperation on assistance in cases of natural disaster. The 2,221 tonnes provided from the rice reserve will be given to the people of Sanamxay district, who lost their homes and crops during a catastrophic flash flood last year following the collapse of a dam at the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy hydropower plant.
The rice was handed over on Friday by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Mr Somdy Duangdy, who is a member of the National Committee for Disaster Prevention and Control, to Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Dr Khampheng Saysompheng.
The government requested the rice from APTERR+3 to help people in Sanamxay district, many of whom still lack basic necessities. Since 2015, the government has stored about 3,000 tonnes of rice under the APTERR+3 emergency scheme.
In 2017, the government used 664 tonnes of rice from the reserve for distribution to people affected by flooding in Oudomxay, Huaphan, Xieng Khuang, Xayaboury, Vientiane and Borikhamxay provinces.
Last year, the government authorised the provision of 114.1 tonnes of rice for flood victims in three districts of Vientiane province.
According to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, provincial authorities in Attapeu are working to improve conditions in Sanamxay district by repairing bridges and roads that were damaged during the flood.
Many families in the area also still need help with health services, hygiene and sanitation, and the provision of general consumer items.