Laos has been ranked as the 42nd most vulnerable country to climate change.
This is due to the country’s proneness to climate-related hazards. Laos’ susceptibility to natural disasters manifested again last week with flooding in Phongsaly province. Several districts suffered from the loss of crops, breaking of irrigation canals and flooding of homes.
This week, the UN System in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare is rolling out training in Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) as part of capacity building to strengthen resilience to climate impacts and disasters.
The PDNA is a tool that was established by the United Nations, the European Union and the World Bank to assess damage and losses after major disasters, and most importantly, to ensure responsible recovery efforts.
The training conducted this week is part of a global initiative for PDNA roll-out. Training has been ongoing in the Asia and Pacific region in countries such as Cambodia, Vanuatu, and Vietnam. Globally, over 20 training sessions with over 1500 people have been conducted over a four year period.
In his opening remarks, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Balusubramaniam Murali stressed the importance of building resilience to disasters in support of furthering Laos’ economic growth and graduation from LDC status.
Koen Everaert from the European Union and Vongkham Phanthanouvong from the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare encouraged people to participate actively and share their thoughts on the benefits of the training to Laos. In addition to representatives from several ministries, participants from Bolikhamxay and Saravan also participated and learned how to conduct a PDNA as well as build a comprehensive risk reduction culture and strengthen their disaster management capabilities.