In an effort to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, UNICEF and government partners distributed hygiene and recreational kits to more than 1,000 children in residential care institutions and shelters in Laos last week. The kits included soap, bleach, detergent as well as painting tools.
In many rural and poorer communities in Laos, residents do not have access to improved water supply and sanitation. Less than half of primary schools and only a quarter of health facilities have safe drinking water and sanitation, according to the World Bank. 40 percent of the rural Lao population lack access to clean drinking water.
“It is critical to ensure that our support reaches these vulnerable children,” said Pia Britto, UNICEF adviser on early childhood development. “Providing them with access to hygiene and psychosocial services can make a big difference in their lives.”
The kits will be given to seven residential care facilities in six provinces. Supplies will also go to two civil society organizations and two Lao Women’s Union Protection Centers. The country has a total of 22 Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.