IOM Supports Emergency Preparedness in Lao PDR

Posted: 
03/29/16
Themes: 
Capacity Building, Disaster Risk Reduction

Lao People's Democratic Republic - Climate-related disasters are increasing in frequency and intensity across the globe. In Laos, flooding severely affected 12 provinces in 2013, resulting in 25 deaths, impacting over 350,000 people and causing millions of dollars in damages.

To address these challenges, IOM, USAID and the Lao PDR Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare this week completed a programme entitled Strengthening the Capacity of the Government of Lao PDR to Respond to Humanitarian Emergencies. It included training over 350 government officials at the central, provincial, and district level in emergency shelter and camp coordination/camp management (CCCM.)

Participants included representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Natural Resources and Environment, Education, Health, Defence, and the Lao Red Cross.

“Initially, our project was only targeting central and provincial level government officials. But due to interest in the topic, we were able to also support three district level trainings,” said IOM project manager Rebecca Zorn. “We’re really thrilled that we were able to take this project to the local level where it will have such a big impact, as the communities are those most in need of emergency shelter training.”

As co-chair of the Shelter Cluster in Lao PDR, IOM viewed the project as a success because it laid a basic framework for the government to work on emergency shelter issues.  In addition to eight CCCM trainings, IOM also held orientation training on disaster risk management with participation from all 17 Lao government ministries, completed a database on disaster trainings within the country, and developed a National Disaster Management Training Framework. 

“During the trainings, we were able to see government officials were very interested in expanding CCCM throughout the country,” said Khamkeng Keovongsy, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.

“We believe that as a result, local government officials will have a better understanding of how to establish emergency shelters such as collective centres at temples or other public buildings. Officials now understand how to assess vulnerable groups, appropriate buildings for shelters, and meet the needs of men, women, and children in these situations.”

IOM Lao PDR has also been working in the Lao PDR since 2002. Additional ongoing projects focus on safe migration and preventing human trafficking.

For further information please contact Damien Kilner at IOM Vientiane. Tel: +856 2126 7730, Email: dkilner@iom.int

Camp coordination/camp management (CCCM) training participants in Savannakhet Province, Lao People's Democratic Republic. Photo: IOM 2016