Mother with daughter preparing food | © Patrick Rohr

Connecting for Improved Nutrition

© Patrick Rohr

Improving nutrition for its population is high on the development agenda of the Government of Laos, but the scope and acceptance for an emerging civil society to participate in and contribute to achieving the national goals are limited. Therefore, Helvetas strengthens the capacity and the role of Lao Civil Society Organizations as meaningful actors of change in the field of nutrition.

  • Project Name
    C4N - Connecting for Improved Nutrition
  • Project Phase
    2020 to 2024
  • Funding
    The project is co-funded by the European Union
  • Thematic focus
    Climate & Disaster Resilience
    Gender & Social Equity

Due to a declining access to natural resources, population growth, disaster or seasonal changes in food availability, the poorest ethnic minority households living in remote areas in Laos are prone to food insecurity and malnutrition. Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have the potential to considerably contribute to local development processes, food security and nutrition. This potential has not been fully utilized yet.

With this project, Helvetas together with the non-profit association Maeying Huamjai Phatana (MHP), aims to increase the participation of LAO CSOs in preventing, addressing and mitigating risks of weak nutrition of marginalized and vulnerable groups in Luang Namtha, Luang Prabang and Bokeo provinces.

Through capacity development, policy dialogue and knowledge sharing, the project brings together stakeholders of different backgrounds and facilitates joint and coordinated efforts to improve the availability, accessibility and utilization of food at local level as well as promoting good practices. As part of this project, Community-Based Organizations carry out activities on local production and consumption of nutritious food, natural resource management, better hygiene and health standards, changes in gender roles, and decision-making and in their communities. Thus, C4N will contribute to enable at least 22,000 people to have a better and healthier life, bringing about changes in unpaid care, family management, food diversity and nutrient adequacy, especially for women and children under five.

To achieve this goal, Helvetas and MHP work together with the Department of Rural Development and Cooperative, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry as well as with the social enterprise STELLA that mobilizes committed young people, to jointly improve delivery of "Nutrition Sensitive Services" to all ethnic groups.

Overall, the project contributes to increase the legitimacy and acceptance of CSOs in promoting inclusive and sustainable development at local and national level, including acknowledgement by the government partners.

The project is cofounded by the European Union.

Co-funded by the European Union

How Helvetas Supports People in Laos

Helvetas advocates in Laos for environmentally sound agriculture and for social justice. We also provide support for victims of domestic violence.