Nutrition programming in Laos is governed by two policy documents: the National Nutrition Policy (NNP) 2020 and the National Nutrition Strategy & Plan of Action (NNS-PA 2025 currently being developed). The NNP provides the political direction for the engagement of governmental agencies and development partners on nutrition issues and was endorsed by the Prime Minister in 2008. The NNS-PA provides guidelines for all sectors associated with nutrition and food security and uses a multi-sectoral convergent approach designed to accelerate the reduction of maternal and child malnutrition and to prevent the advancing trend towards overnutrition.
Other nutrition-relevant policies and strategies in place include:
- Agriculture and Rural development Strategy 2015-2025
- Maternal, Newborn and Child health Strategy 2016-2025
- Water and Sanitation Strategy
Established in 2013, the National Nutrition Committee (NNC) is the multi-sectoral platform for Lao PDR, responsible for the management of the NNP and the coordination of the partners in the NNS-PA. The NNC is led by the Vice-Prime Minister, which is a testament to the high level commitment towards improving nutrition for the Lao people. It brings together representatives from four ministries, sectors, departments and agencies. The NNC is supported by a Secretariat housed in the Department of Hygiene Health Promotion in the Ministry of Health. The NNC meets quarterly under the umbrella of the Government led team and the National Food & Nutrition Security Technical Working Group. The meetings help to ensure effective coordination and collaboration for food and nutrition at the national level. The Development Partners (DP) Nutrition Group includes 28 representatives from United Nations (UN) agencies, donors and civil society organisations. The SUN Civil Society Alliance in Lao PDR is a longstanding and active member of the multi-sectoral platform.
From early 2018, UNICEF has been supporting national organisations for the implementation of the NIPN.