Lao PDR

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On 25 April 2011, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic joined the SUN Movement with a letter of commitment from the Minister of Health. At the time, Laos PDR had a National Nutrition Strategy and Plan of Action (2010 – 2015) which prioritized the immediate actions for 2015 as an effort to secure attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. A round table process was also in effect with sector wide working groups provided an appropriate platform for inter-ministerial cooperation nutrition and food security activities.

Progress

Bringing people together
79% 2017

Bringing people together

Coherent policy and legal framework
46% 2017

Coherent policy and legal framework

Aligning programs around a Common Results Framework
69% 2017

Aligning programs around a Common Results Framework

Financial tracking and resource mobilization
58% 2017

Financial tracking and resource mobilization

TOTAL
63% 2017

TOTAL

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Nutrition situation

43.8%

Under Five Stunting

14.8%

Low Birth Weight

40.4%

0-5 Months Exclusive Breastfeeding

6.4%

Under Five Wasting

2%

Under Five Overweight

31%

Woman Anaemia 15-49 years

8.6%

Adult Blood Glucose (Diabetes)

19%

Adult Overweight

3.5%

Adult Obesity

Strategic objectives

The Government, through the National Nutrition Committee (NNC) and its Secretariat, continue to coordinate and engage nutrition stakeholders through periodic meetings and high level events. The Second National Nutrition Forum was held in November 2016 with nutrition on the agenda of the High-Level Round Table Meeting. Provincial Nutrition Committees (PNC) have been set up in 14 provinces and PNC Secretariats have been established in 13. The process to recruit PNC Secretariat facilitators has commenced. A task force comprising World Food Programme (WFP), European Union, Population Services International and Save the Children was set up, to support the launch of the Lao SUN Business Network, for which a pre-launch event was hosted by the EU Delegation to Lao PDR in October 2016.

Last updated: November 2017

2016
The 2015 National Nutrition Forum, the first ever, facilitated an important political space for scaling up action against undernutrition by mobilising key parts of the Government, provincial leaders and development partners. Nutrition coordination structures established at the national level are now being formalised at the sub-national level. Planning and communication mechanisms with the multi-sectoral core team and technical working groups have been strengthened with annual and quarterly workplans and reporting.

Last updated: December 2016

2015

Established in July 2013, the National Nutrition Committee (NNC) is the multi-sectoral platform (MSP) for Lao PDR. The NNC is led by the Vice-Prime Minister, which is a testament to the high level commitment towards improving nutrition for the Lao people. It brings together representatives from four ministries, sectors, departments and agencies. The NNC is supported by a functional Secretariat housed in the Department of Hygiene Health Promotion in the Ministry of Health.
The NNC meets quarterly under the umbrella of the Government led team and the National Food & Nutrition Security Technical Working Group. The meetings help to ensure effective coordination and collaboration for food and nutrition at the national level. At the decentralised level: three Provincial Nutrition Committees and six District Nutrition Committees have been established. Lao PDR aims to expand the MSP mechanism to other provinces and districts to improve coordination of nutrition programming at all levels to reach the most vulnerable populations.

The Development Partners (DP) Nutrition Group encompasses nearly 28 representatives from United Nations (UN) agencies, donors and civil society organisations. UNICEF and the European Union are the co-convenors of the DP Nutrition Group. The SUN Civil Society Alliance in Lao PDR is a longstanding and active member of the MSP.

Last updated: October 2015

In 2016, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, with support from WFP, conducted a consultative review of food and nutrition security in Lao PDR investigating the strategic issues most important for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. A Government-led taskforce and a Decree drafting group has been set up to work on strengthening the Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes with the support of UNICEF, Alive & Thrive and Save the Children. The NNC Secretariat, with the support of development partners is developing a multi-sectoral Social and Behavioural Change Communication Strategic Action Plan. The National Agricultural Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI) has led the finalisation of a policy brief on the role of the agriculture sector in promoting food security and nutrition in Lao PDR.

Last updated: November 2017

2016
The National Nutrition Strategy to 2025 and Plan of Action 2016-2020 (NNSPA) were launched in December 2015, following a nine-month series of consultations between key sectors and stakeholders. The Government – with inputs from partners – is, at present, developing a multi-sectoral Social and Behavioural Change Communication Strategic Framework and Action Plan to put into practice the advocacy and behavioural components of the NNSPA.

Last updated: December 2016

2015

Nutrition programming is governed by two policy documents: the National Nutrition Strategy & Plan of Action 2010-2015 (NNS-PA 2015) and the National Nutrition Policy 2020.
As the current strategy expires in 2015, stakeholders are in the process developing the National Nutrition Strategy 2025 & Plan of Action 2020 (NNS-PA 2025). The strategy component is being developed with the view of prioritising nutrition using a convergent programming approach and is based on learnings from a pilot in three target provinces and six districts. The plan of action component of the NNS-PA 2025 ends in 2020 as it will be developed in line with the Five Year National SocioEconomic Development Plan VIII which ends in 2020. Other nutrition-relevant policies and strategies in place include:

  • Agriculture& Rural development Strategy 2015-2025
  • Maternal, Newborn and Child health Strategy 2016-2025, and
  • Water and Sanitation Strategy.

Efforts have been made on a range of sub-level policies and legal instruments, such as the monitoring of the Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes, maternal protection legislation, IYCF Guidelines, integrated outreach and multimicronutrient supplementation guidelines. Legal and policy requirements for large-scale industry-based food fortification is being considered.

Last updated: October 2015

In November 2016, a nutrition stakeholder and action mapping was carried out – an update of the 2015 mapping – to deter- mine the current situation regarding implementation of the 22 priority interventions of the National Plan of Action for Nutrition (NPAN) 2016-2020. A new web-based salt iodisation monitoring system and interactive voice response system for health outreach reporting are being implemented. The report formats are being developed for sectors and provinces to report on the progress towards the implementation of the NPAN. Progress reporting and review is now included on the agenda of NNC Secretariat meetings and the annual National Nutrition Forum.

Last updated: November 2017

2016
In 2015-2016, a nutrition stakeholder and action mapping exercise was conducted, which looked at the 22 priority interventions of the National Nutrition Strategy and Plan of Action. The convergent, multi-sectoral approach to nutrition was tested as a pilot in three target provinces (six target districts) with multi-sectoral plans were developed at the sub-national level. The European Union is supporting the establishment of a national information platform for nutrition aiming to bring together existing data from nutrition-relevant sectors.

Last updated: December 2016

2015

The new NNS-PA 2025 will be the key guiding document on nutrition policy and programming and is the Common Results Framework (CRF). All stakeholder groups involved with the NNC have confirmed their commitment to contributing to its development. The NNS-PA 2025 will be finalised by the end of 2015 with a logical matrix, plan of action built around the matrix and a monitoring and evaluation plan. Dedicated task forces have been created to support the development of three main sectors: health and water, sanitation and hygiene; education; and agriculture. The taskforces will also support the integration of the CRF into relevant sector plans with nutrition-sensitive objectives and targets.
Nutrition has been streamlined into sectoral planning for health, education and agriculture. These sectors are currently preparing their sectoral five year plans for 2016-2020 and due to the multi-sectoral nature of the convergent approach, partners have agreed on a joint monitoring package developed with tools used by the Millennium Development Goal Fund and UN joint monitoring program units.

Last updated: October 2015

Several databases containing information on funding for nutrition-relevant programmes and their expenditure data are available within the Ministry of Planning and line ministries for domestic and external resources. The persisting challenge to track, compile, and analyse financial information related to nutrition still needs to be overcome. Efforts are ongoing to strengthen the process of the annual nutrition finance mapping exercise and institutionalise it. Future mapping aims to build on the existing expenditure reviews and to be expanded to include the private sector contributions.

Last updated: November 2017

2016
The priority interventions of the National Plan of Action on Nutrition (NPAN) 2016-2020 are costed. The annual nutrition finance mapping exercise enables better understanding of resources allocated to priority nutrition interventions and estimates current funding gaps. This is used for advocacy purposes, to ensure greater targeted funding for nutrition. Databases containing information on domestic and external funding and expenditure exist within ministries. The national budget allocation has increased for some of the key priority nutrition actions.

Last updated: December 2016

2015

Preliminary costing and cost-benefit analysis and modelling for the NNS-PA 2015 was conducted in 2013 by the UN and included in the recommendations on the development of NNS-PA 2025.
Costing of the health interventions as part of the development of the NNS-PA 2025 is currently being supported by MQSUN. Detailed costing of the health interventions of operational action plan (NNS-PA 2025) and capacity building of local staff for the ingredient costing exercises will be supported by the World Health Organization (WHO). Tracking and accounting of finances for nutrition is of high priority for Lao PDR, their partners are committed to providing support to find solutions that are best suited for the country context.

The Ministry of Health has committed an allocation of $USD 340,000 for the procurement of nutrition supplies in 2015. All major donors have announced financial commitments on nutrition and the resources will be made available following the finalisation of NNS-PA 2025.

Last updated: October 2015

SUN Government Focal Point

Chandavone PHOXAY
Deputy Director-General, Hygiene-Health Promotion

Donor Convenor

  • European Union