Press Release

FAO provides vital COVID-19 equipment and supplies to Lao PDR

13 July 2021

Vientiane, Lao PDR [July 12,2021] While the COVID-19 situation in Lao PDR seems to be improving, there is no let-up in ensuring that the country is well prepared for possible COVID-19 waves. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO) recently provided vital equipment and supplies to better prepare Lao PDR in addressing COVID-19 outbreaks.

FAO, with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), provided Smart Testing Booths, reagents and supplies for COVID-19 testing to the National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology (NCLE) of the Department of Communicable Disease Control (DCDC). The provision of much needed equipment and supplies shows the vital work that FAO is doing as part of the United Nations Global Humanitarian Response Plan. The Plan was aimed at supporting governments of member countries to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have stepped up efforts to helping countries beyond our mandate of improving nutrition, increasing agricultural productivity, raising the standard of living in rural populations and contributing to global economic growth,” FAO Representative to Lao PDR Mr Nasar Hayat said at the handover ceremony of the equipment and supplies.

Joining Mr Hayat are Dr. Bounfeng Phoummalaysith, Minister of Health and department head of the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. They oversaw the turnover of 37,810 US Dollars or about 370,810,000 LAK worth of sample collection booths and laboratory supplies to the Lao PDR government. The equipment and supplies will be distributed to hospitals or provinces as needed.

Beyond Food and Agriculture
FAO has also technically supported the Lao PDR government in minimizing COVID-19 impacts especially on food security and livelihoods. The animal health sector is also being supported with FAO providing technical expertise in assisting the human health sector in the investigation, laboratory diagnosis and tracing of COVID-19 cases.

There have been overseas reports of COVID-19 infection in animals. This is a scenario that FAO is especially helping Lao PDR to minimize the risks of COVID-19 infection in animals and, possible, further spread of the virus.

Guarding the borders
FAO, with USAID funding, have trained field border officers in northern, central, southern provinces to improve surveillance, disease inspection, sample collection, infection prevention, control and environmental cleaning practice. The training workshop allowed the officers to share lessons learned and experiences in the prevention and response to COVID-19. Among the trainees included public and animal health officers, and immigration police officers. Mr Hayat also said that calibration and certification services were provided for biosafety cabinets in Lao PDR.

Related links:

Impacts of coronavirus on food security and nutrition in Asia and the Pacific: Building more resilient food systems:

FAO provides vital COVID-19 equipment and supplies to Lao PDR

Steven Cleary

Steven A Cleary

International Communications Specialist

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

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