Laos Urges ASEAN to Tackle Issues of Poverty Alleviation and Food Security in Region

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Laos Urges ASEAN to Tackle Poverty, Food Security
Kids living in poverty, Laos. ( Photo : The Star )

The Lao Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism has urged ASEAN members to help the region tackle poverty and food security, during the 29th ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council Meeting in Bali, Indonesia that took place this week.

Mrs. Suanesavanh Vignaket, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism spoke during the 29th ASCC Council Meeting, saying finding ways to curb hunger and poverty is not an easy task for just one organization.

She said, “I would like to urge national and regional organizations and stakeholders to enhance their continued efforts and raise investments in both capital capacity and human resources capability, which will facilitate the eradication of poverty and food security in the region.”

According to Mrs. Suanesavanh, as a Least Developed Country (LDC), Laos is putting plans in place to graduate from being an LDC by 2026.

To that effect, the Lao government has prioritized on efforts to drive sustainable development. According to Vientiane Times, these include realizing the sustainable development goals (SDGs) 2030 Agenda and fully implementing the Programmes of Action for the LDCs and Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) in alignment with the Lao National Vision 2030, the 9th five-year Plan on Socio-Economic Development and the Green Growth Strategy.

The Minister also emphasized the importance of cooperation between the ASEAN state members, following the economic difficulties brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, emerging geo-political challenges, and increasing prices of essential goods and energy.

Laos is ready to work with Indonesia and other ASEAN members to ensure the continued success of ASEAN in 2023, which make the region prosper and serve as a foundation for Laos’ ASEAN Chairmanship in 2024.

Leaders from ASEAN countries also spoke about the importance of empowering people in rural areas and supported the proposed establishment of the ASEAN Village Networks (AVN), aimed to help village-village networking across the bloc.

In August last year, Laos was marked as a “country of concern” in a joint report by the Food and Agriculture Association (FAO) and World Food Program (WFP). According to the report, around 71,000 people had severe acute food insecurity, while 1.4 people were estimated to have moderate levels of food insecurity.