Disasters. Alas, Laos gets its fair share of natural calamities, often seen in the form of floods and the occasional typhoon.
In times of crisis and also to prevent future calamities, Laos as a least developed country has been in receipt of greatly valued assistance from a multitude of generous benefactors.
This has very much been the case in the aftermath of July 23’s dam collapse following Tropical Storm Son Tinh, resulting in flash flooding that took lives and livelihoods in the nation’s southern province of Attapeu.
What may be less known is that the country is also donor during times of crisis abroad.
Now, as fellow ASEAN member Indonesia works to address the devastating Palu earthquake and tsunami-related natural disaster on the island of Sulawesi, Laos is also one of the contributors to the rebuilding effort.
The country has also sent assistance contributions to even more disaster-prone places like Japan, turning the traditional aid donor-recipient relationship on its head.
Laos made a contribution of funds in order to assist in flood and landslide natural disaster that hit western Japan, including much of Hiroshima prefecture earlier this year. It was not the first time.
The country made a similar donation as far back at the Tohoku triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis all the way back in March 2011.
While Laos is likely to remain a net aid recipient for the foreseeable future, it is worth remembering that we can all give a little assistance to our family, friends and neighbours in time of need.
To follow updates and all the latest on disaster response in the immediate region, follow up via the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre).
AHA is an inter-governmental organisation which aims to facilitate cooperation and coordination among ASEAN Member States and with the United Nations and international organisations for disaster management and emergency response.