For the successful implementation of the policy the following strategic principles will be applied:
• Decentralization: bottom-up planning supported by increased implementation at provincial and district level;
• Prioritized targeting: focus on immediate needs and vulnerabilities
- Rural: Those groups living in remote upland areas with high levels of stunting
- Urban: Those groups with low educational status
- In transition: Those groups who have recently been resettled, who have been relocated from the uplands to the lowlands, and/or whose wild food resources have been destroyed
- Women of reproductive age: Women of reproductive age (focus will be women experiencing pregnancy, puerperium, and lactation) and children (focus will be children under 2 years, children under five years, and school age children)
• Integration and effective cooperation: integrating nutrition interventions into all relevant sectors;
• Institutionalizing nutrition within GoL: establishing coordination mechanisms for planning, implementation, management and M+E of the nutrition program;
• Capacity building and cultural sensitivity: providing technical skills and acknowledging cultural identity;
• Empowerment of women and vulnerable groups: ensure that women and vulnerable groups play an active decision-making role in the planning and implementation of nutrition interventions;
• Sustainability and resilience: sustainable production, harvest and consumption of nutritive plant and animal foods;
• Prevention and treatment: provide continued sufficient and adequate support for preventive and curative interventions;
• Principle of ‘no-harm’: control of adverse impacts on nutrition from other development sectors;
• Accountability for nutrition: ensure the signing of agreements between national or foreign investors and the GoL - particularly in the fields of agro-based industries, hydropower and mining - are in line with the recommendations of environmental and social impact assessments (EIA, SIA);
• Nutrition surveillance: establishing and strengthening participatory monitoring and evaluation systems.
Roles and responsibilities of Ministries and equivalent organizations accountable for nutrition
• MoH as the lead agency for the GOL on nutrition in coordination with National Science Council/Prime Minister’s Office;
• Develop a National Nutrition Strategy and National Plan of Action on Nutrition;
• Establish a Nutrition Centre or Nutrition Institute;
• Facilitate and coordinate the implementation of nutrition activities;
• Mobilize national and international funds to implement the nutrition program;
• Build and upgrade capacity in nutrition for technical staff at all administrative levels;
• Advocate for nutrition and increase public awareness of nutrition;
• Increase public awareness of the adverse impact on nutrition of tobacco and alcohol consumption;
• Focus on food quality control and food safety;
• Conduct surveys and operational research with appropriate indicators and dissemination of findings;
• Establish an inter-sectoral nutrition surveillance system together with other GoL key stakeholders;
• Report to the GoL (through NCMC) on the implementation of the nutrition program;
• Develop nutrition legislation in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice.
National Science Council at the Prime Minister’s Office
• Supervise and establish a National Nutrition Council with the Ministry of Health and in cooperation with other relevant sectors;
• Incorporate findings of scientific research into GoL actions plans leading to the improvement of the national nutrition status;
• Facilitate the coordination of the technical cooperation of all relevant Ministries and equivalent organizations on nutrition;
• Promote, coordinate, and monitor nutrition-related interdisciplinary scientific research activities;
• Supervise and facilitate the establishment of a Nutrition Information Unit in the Nutrition Center in cooperation with other relevant sectors.
Planning and Investment Sector
• Review and approve nutrition and related development strategies and plans to be incorporated into national socio-economic development plans;
• Advocate for nutrition and fundraise from the national budget, international donors and the private sector to implement the nutrition program;
• Manage, monitor and evaluate the nutrition program in collaboration with MoH and other key GoL stakeholders;
• Develop directions for the nutrition program by forecasting development trends;
• In cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, enforce State laws and regulations to ensure national or foreign direct investments (especially in the fields of mining, hydropower and agro-based industries) and other development programs or projects will not have adverse impacts on nutrition.
Agriculture and Forestry Sector and associated Research Institutes (NAFRI, NAFES)
• Expand the concept of and strategies for food security to encompass also nutrition security (with focus on dietary diversity);
• Plan and ensure food production at national level according to nutritional needs,
• Increase support for stable food security at household level;
• Encourage sustainable planning, usage and management of biodiversity resources for increased household food security;
• Facilitate the implementation of operational research in agriculture and forestry related to nutrition;
• Manage and promote safe food production (e.g. usage of pesticides and other chemicals);
• Build capacity in nutrition for technical staff at all administrative levels;
• Monitoring and evaluation of activities related to food security in cooperation with other key GoL stakeholders.
National Land Management Authority: Promote and implement the Law on Land and related regulations and expand to full coverage the correct allocation and titling (registration) of land to mitigate adverse impacts on nutrition.
Water Resource and Environment Agency, Committee for Forest Conservation and Committee for Water and Natural Resources
• Manage natural resource exploitation while focusing on the reduction of environmental contamination and mitigating adverse effects on nutrition;
• Promote and enforce environmental regulations for stable household food security (e.g. arresting illegal wildlife trade).
Energy and Mining Sector, National Energy Committee and Lao National Mekong Committee
• Develop social safeguard procedures under the “user pays” principle for mining and hydropower schemes with regard to adverse impacts on nutrition;
• Expand environmental and social impact assessment procedures with regard to long-term effects on nutrition;
• Prevent adverse impacts on nutrition due to mining and hydropower development.
• Develop and incorporate nutrition into existing formal school curricula and into the non-formal education system;
• Improve teachers’ knowledge on nutrition;
• Increase nutrition awareness, campaigning and advocacy for the mobilization and propagation of nutritional messages (at all administrative level as well as for all staff members of MoE);
• Monitor and evaluate teaching skills and materials in nutrition;
• Assess the nutritional status of school children in collaboration with relevant agencies.
Industrial and Commercial Sector
• Manage and promote the production, transfer and distribution of food products to all regions;
• Manage the import and export of food products and maintain food stocks according to national regulations and needs;
• Build capacity in nutrition comprehension for technical staff at all administrative levels;
• Monitor and evaluate food quality, hygiene, and safety according to international standards in cooperation with MoH and other relevant institutions.
Information and Cultural Sector
• Manage and support of the mass media with the aim of disseminating information on nutrition and its relation to other development sectors and policies;
• Facilitate research on the different food cultures of the various ethnic groups in cooperation with the Lao Front for National Construction.
Labor and Social Welfare Sector
• Develop a National Natural Disaster Preparedness Plan in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense;
• Mobilize funds and allocate budget for the implementation of charitable activities to provide food.
• Allocate the necessary budget to ensure that the implementation of the National Nutrition Policy will reach its targets;
• Ensure financial management in compliance with State laws and regulations in the financial sector;
• Enable the reinvestment of economic revenues into the nutrition program (in cooperation with MPI).
Mass organizations (Lao Women’s Union, Lao People’s Revolutionary Youth Union, Lao Federation of Trade Unions and Lao Front for National Construction)
• Include nutrition in their action plans;
• Mobilize the dissemination of nutrition information to villages (with special focus on non Lao-Tai ethnic groups).
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
• Coordinate and facilitate international and national multi-sectoral cooperation;
• Advocate for nutrition and mobilize national and international funds.
National Commission for Mother and Child
• Establish a National Committee on Nutrition;
• Support MoH in leading the nutritional activities in all relevant sectors;
• Support the implementation of the nutrition program at both central and local level;
• Mobilize national and international funds to implement the nutrition program;
• Manage, monitor and evaluate the nutrition program together with MoH.