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  • Annual General Meeting at Crown Plaza Hotel in Vientiane on Wednesday 27th March 2024.

Annual General Meeting at Crown Plaza Hotel in Vientiane on Wednesday 27th March 2024.

1.7 million people supported with better nutrition by civil society organisations

In a year of high cost of living for many families in Laos, civil society organisations in Lao PDR have directly helped over 1.7 million people in all 18 provinces to improve their nutrition relating to health, education, agriculture, gender, livelihoods, clean water, the environment and governance. These results were presented at the Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance (SUN CSA) Annual General Meeting at Crown Plaza Hotel in Vientiane on Wednesday 27th March 2024. The event was attended by over 30 organisations and more than 80 people in person and online.

Together these civil society organisations are collectively implementing 109 nutrition projects in 88 districts of Lao PDR in the past year. All projects work in close cooperation with the Government of Lao PDR, and with support from more than 37 international donors. All of SUN CSA member’s efforts support the Lao PDR Government’s National Nutrition Strategy and Plan of Action 2021-2025.

SUN CSA Management Committee Co-Chair, Anthony Glanville from CARE International Laos, reported that “during the past year, civil society organisations have been more active than ever before, improving nutrition with 88 joint activities through the SUN CSA network, including 23 learning events, 35 coordination events and 30 advocacy events focused on topics related to food insecurity, the BMS Code, Exclusive Breastfeeding and nutrition-sensitive climate change adaptation.” Mr. Glanville went on to say that “with great collective effort, the SUN CSA website (suncsalaos.org) now has over 700 nutrition resources in the Lao Nutrition Resource Library and the SUN CSA Facebook page reached over 620,000 people in Laos online in the past year. This has helped more people learn more about nutrition and helped all nutrition stakeholders to be able to find relevant nutrition information in Lao language.”

The SUN CSA Annual General Meeting is an opportunity to share information and updates on the members’ work over the past year and to develop plans for joint efforts in the coming year. The National Nutrition Committee gave a presentation to the AGM participants that discussed the latest nutrition research data, as well as the importance of improved coordination. Presentations were given by four organisations on their work, as well as by the European Union.

In his opening remarks, Dr Phonepaseuth Ounaphom, Director General of the Department of Health and Hygiene Promotion at the Ministry of Health, said “The Scaling Up Nutrition movement in Laos supports nutrition coordination across different sectors. The Centre of Nutrition is the SUN Focal Point in Laos and works collaboratively with SUN Civil Society Organisations to continue their nutrition projects in close partnership with the government, so that we can ‘Scale Up Nutrition’ impacts in agriculture, in health, in education and in labour and social welfare. On behalf of the Ministry of Health, I want to thank organisations working on nutrition for our achievements in improving nutrition results in Lao PDR. Improving nutrition is a long-term effort, as it requires behaviour change in villages, families and by individuals. We should continue our partnership to change behaviour and improve nutrition, and I encourage everyone to continue to report this success at the national level.”

The AGM will be followed by trainings about AI Tools for Development and Nutrition Model Village approach on Thursday 28th March. These trainings will help staff from all organisations improve their skills so they are ready to use best practice to help Lao families improve their nutrition.

Annual General Meeting at Crown Plaza Hotel in Vientiane 2024