SUN CSA Laos Member Organisations have improved nutrition in 2023!
In a productive year, SUN CSA Laos organisations have directly helped over 1.7 million people in 18 provinces during 2023 to improve their nutrition relating to health, education, agriculture, WASH, gender, livelihoods, environment and governance. Together these civil society organisations are collectively implementing 109 nutrition projects in support of the National Plan of Action for Nutrition (NPAN) 2021-2025.
During 2023, SUN CSA Laos member organisations have conducted 88 joint activities through our SUN CSA network to promote nutrition (averaging seven per month), including 23 learning events, 35 coordination events and 30 advocacy events.
Our joint advocacy campaigns have been particularly strong this year. We continued our food security campaign with a joint food security and inflation research. This was conducted by 11 organisations across 14 provinces and highlighted the real and serious food security challenges faced by many Lao families. We also launched a Lao Household Food Security Portal on our website to help centralise data and resources. The Portal contains reports and tools, as well as case studies and videos highlighting the practical work of organisations that are improving food security for vulnerable families.
Our breastfeeding advocacy continued with increased awareness about the national Breastmilk Substitutes decree. We launched a Breastfeeding resources webpage to centralise tools and information for practitioners. Through our workplace breastfeeding advocacy campaign there has been a 16% improvement in workplace breastfeeding policies and practices, a 20% increase in staff awareness of breastfeeding policies, and a 15% increase in breastfeeding at work. Our Workplace Breastfeeding Awards had 30 participating organisations in August 2023, and we have a plan to go national in 2024.
SUN CSA member organisations are also conducting impactful advocacy relating to climate-smart agriculture innovations, nutrition research and increasing numbers of Open Defecation Free districts across Laos.
We have shared nutrition knowledge across the country to more people than ever before. Our website was visited 12,000 times this year and now has over 697 nutrition resources in our Lao Nutrition Resource Library, (330 in Lao, 367 in English), including 106 new documents and 67 videos. We launched a Laos Nutrition Projects page that currently highlights resources from 4 projects and 3 advocacy campaigns. Our Facebook page reached over 620,000 people in Laos online during the past year with 160 posts, including nutrition campaigns, activity updates, videos and information. In addition, our monthly newsletter is received by 500 stakeholders in Laos.
We want to thank our donors who supported us during this year – all 47 of you! We particularly want to thank our government donors from the European Union, USA, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Luxemburg, Japan, Korea and Ireland, as well as multiple private donors and our organisation’s self-raised funds from the public. You have all contributed to this success and to the voice of civil society in Lao PDR.
We want to give a big thankyou to the Government of Lao PDR for their ongoing support and partnership, including the Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Forestry, Education and Sport, Labour and Social Welfare, Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs, Justice, Lao Women’s Union, Lao Youth Union and many others. Without their hard work and dedication, we could not have the same impacts.
Thanks also to the SUN CSA Management Committee and Secretariat for their work this year. Our collective efforts would be far less without their enthusiasm and support.
Together we have made a big difference this year. There is still much work to do, but at the closing of 2023, we want to thank everyone for their hard work and amazing results. Let’s keep sharing, learning and working for better nutrition across Laos in 2024!