The World Bank has announced commitment to address mother and child malnutrition and to improve access to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services in four northern provinces of Laos. A $27 Million USD commitment to the Reducing Rural Poverty and Malnutrition Project will target poor households with direct cash transfers that are conditional upon adoption of improved health, nutrition, and hygiene practices. In particular, this support will benefit the well-being of children during the critical first three years of life.
An additional $25 Million USD will be directed to the Scaling-Up Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene Project to expand delivery of water supply and sanitation in the same villages. The focus is to tackle waterborne diseases that increase the risk of a child becoming malnourished. Part of the program is to strengthen the capacity of local authorities to monitor, evaluate, and provide technical support to communities to manage water supply and sustain good sanitation and hygiene practices.