Southern Laos Food and Nutrition Security Market Linkages Programme

19 January 2024

The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD has undertaken an evaluation of the Southern Laos Food and Nutrition Security and Market Linkages Programme (FNML) in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). The FNML project was implemented between 2013 and 2020, reaching 173 villages in 5 poor districts over 7 years with a range of rural and agricultural development activities.

Although all target villages were reached, the remoteness of many villages meant they generally received less support. While households experienced some improvements in access to food, hunger periods, malnutrition and diet diversity remain serious problems. FNML’s support to agricultural production groups contributed to increased production and crop incomes; however, this did not translate into improved nutrition. FNML made efforts to mainstream climate change adaptation throughout the programme. However, many activities were started late, so it was too early to assess results. 

For the future, a better balance must be struck between the breadth of activities, local implementation capacities and the number of villages that can be reached effectively. In addition, there should be better awareness of local nutrition practices and more coordination among development partners to tackle the multiple causes of malnutrition.

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