Lao PDR makes progress on nutritional status of children
Vientiane, 9 December 2019 – New data on the progress on the nutritional status of children was shared today in Vientiane using the National Information Platforms for Nutrition (NIPN), which aims at strengthening information systems for nutrition to prevent malnutrition and its consequences, showing advancement on implementing the National Nutrition Strategy. This is an international initiative of the European Union with support from the United Kingdom Department for International development (DFID) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to be implemented in the Lao PDR by UNICEF.
The National Dissemination Meeting is the first to
be organized since the NIPN was launched almost a year ago and brings together
representatives of key line ministries and departments as well as staff from
“The assessments and secondary analysis as well as
the recommendations are extremely important for the Government of Lao PDR as
they help us understand better the nutrition data and policy landscape. As we
prepare the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan and sector action
plans, the use of data and new evidence are extremely important in setting
realistic targets and designing programmes that address the needs of our
people” said H.E. Dr Kikeo Chantaboury, Vice Minister-MPI said, while adding
that the National Information Platforms for Nutrition (NIPN) initiative is
already playing a key role in making better use of evidence and data to design
and implement nutrition related policies and programmes.
The assessments revealed that Lao PDR has strong national
and sectoral policies as well as strategies that support implementation of
nutrition interventions. This is backed by well-organized nutrition
coordination mechanisms at the national and sub-national levels. Also, several
information management systems have been established in the various sectors to
support routine monitoring.
This nutrition information system will generate
quality data, perform analyses, track progress and use the information for
policy development, contributing to expanding and scaling up effective
programmes, and allocating more public funding for nutrition activities. Thanks
to this information platform children will benefit from better results.
“Increasingly, we rely on the use of data for
evidence-based planning and programming. It is the only way that we can ensure
judicious use of scarce resources; be results oriented and be able to reach
those who need our support most,” said Mr. Octavian Bivol, Representative of
UNICEF Lao PDR. “Data is revolutionizing how we programme and measure results
of our collective efforts. The NIPN initiative provides us a good opportunity
to strengthen institutional data generation, analysis and use of data to
influence policy and decision making in Lao PDR.”
The overall goal of NIPN is to contribute to the
global reduction of stunting (chronic undernutrition) in alignment with the
World Health Assembly 2025 targets. Particularly, this initiative will
strengthen capacities in the Lao PDR to monitor progress towards under
nutrition reduction, contributing to implement more cost-effective and
“Childhood stunting has been linked to lower levels
of educational achievement and lower productivity in later life. This is
worrisome if Lao PDR is to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
Closing the resource gaps between stunted and non-stunted children is, thus,
extremely important and requires Government and development partners to
consider reviewing existing nutrition policies and strategies to ensure that it
addresses the key health and nutrition deprivations facing children in Laos,”
stated Leo Faber, European Union Ambassador.
The NIPN initiative will be an integral part of the
Government nutrition programme, which is supported and implemented jointly by
EU Delegation and UNICEF in the context of their Partnership for Improved
Nutrition in the Lao PDR in support of the National Nutrition Strategy to 2025
and Plan of Action 2016-2020.