The Government of the Republic of Korea announced its support to the Ministry of Health and the World Food Programme (WFP) to continue providing food to returning migrants in mandatory Covid-19 quarantine.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea has released USD 200,000 in humanitarian assistance dedicated to Lao PDR’s response to Covid-19. This donation will enable WFP to continue its food assistance to migrant workers in 18 quarantine centres across seven provinces of Laos.
WFP and its implementing partners – the Swiss Red Cross, the Lao Red Cross and World Vision International – will provide three daily nutritious meals to over 5,600 returning migrant workers.
“Although the number of returning migrant workers has been steadily reducing since the middle of August, the high number of COVID-19 cases in the countries bordering Lao PDR is still threatening, while we are working hard to curb the spread inside the country. Experience tells us how important our quarantine centres are in keeping us all safe, while ensuring that all our citizens can come home. We are thankful to the Korean government for this important support,“ said Dr. Bounfeng Phoummalaysith, Minister of Health.
WFP started its food assistance activities in Covid-19 quarantine centers in June 2020. Since early September this year, the organization has been providing meals in primary, long-term quarantine centres to approximately 1,800 people per day.
The provision of daily meals to returning migrant workers in these centers contributes to enabling returnees to complete their quarantine periods knowing that they do not need to search for alternative sources of food. The support also helps maintain their health and well-being, while reducing the financial burden on them and their families.
“The support is a follow-up measure of the Republic of Korea – Lao PDR Foreign Ministers’ Meeting a month ago in the midst of the pandemic as well as the third round of the Republic of Korea’s humanitarian assistance to the Lao PDR since the pandemic began last year, which reflects both countries’ willingness to overcome this hardship together. I do hope that this support can help us get through these challenging times,” said Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Lao PDR, Moohong Im.
The Korean government has been closely cooperating with the Government of Laos to strengthen the Covid-19 testing capacity of Laos, providing walk-through booths, test kits and other medical supplies. It has also been collaborating with WFP at a local and global level, which includes the recent donation to the Lao government of 1,320 metric tons of rice in June 2021 for emergency food supplies in times of disaster.
“It is great that more and more donors recognize how important it is to keep quarantine centres running. While national authorities are doing what they can to keep the country safe, we at WFP see it as our honorable task to continue supporting quarantine provisions, via generous donations and effective implementation partners. Since June 2020, we have delivered around 1.8 million meals to over 70,000 people. By isolating in humane conditions every person who is carrying the virus into the country, we are coming closer to leaving this pandemic behind,” said WFP Country Director and Representative Jan Delbaere.