A study conducted by Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance (SUN CSA) Laos showed that 91% of families across 14 provinces in Laos were affected by inflation, price rise, climate change, and Covid-19 over the past 12 months.
According to the SUN CSA Food Security study, 47% of households in Laos had run out of food in the past year and 11% had not eaten for an entire day due to food shortages. 31% of the families also starved at least once over the last month and 56% didn’t have access to food that was beneficial or nutritious for them.
The study also found that the main factors contributing to food insecurity were the rising cost of food, low incomes, and the high cost of fuel. As a result of these challenges, 52% of families were forced to eat less, 41% had to take out loans, and 34% had to sell their assets to make ends meet.
Some households have also been taking extreme measures to cope with food insecurity. For example, 15% of families decided to take their children out of school, 13% saw their children skip or miss school more frequently, and 12% reduced the amount they spent on their health and well-being.
In March of this year, a joint report by the Food and Agriculture Association (FAO) and World Food Program (WFP) marked Laos as a “country for concern,” pointing out that inflation has had a severe impact on the Lao economy and amplified the situation of food insecurity in Laos.
To help combat this problem, the WFP hopes that with sustained aid and support from the government and international partners, the situation in Laos will improve, and food security will be restored.
Last week, the Lao Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism also urged ASEAN members to help the region tackle poverty and food security, during the 29th ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Council Meeting.