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Humanitarian Aid Work & Development Programs

Two-thirds of the Lao population lives in the countryside, and close to half of people in rural villages have no access to basic toilets or safe water for drinking.

Australian Red Cross and Lao Red Cross Society are working together on humanitarian and development programs to improve community health by providing clean water, improving health, hygiene and sanitation in some of the poorest communities in Laos.

Clean water and sanitation

With development aid and support from Australian Red Cross, more than 1,000 households in rural villages are currently working with Lao Red Cross, health centres and local government to improve their water and sanitation facilities.

Red Cross volunteers are trained in construction. Once a reliable water supply has been set up in a village, these volunteers work with the villagers to build household toilets using local materials. The villagers then invest their own time and effort to maintain their facilities.

A safer future
Imagine risking disease or death every time you go to the toilet. Niu's family used to run that risk daily. Read story.

Improving health through hygiene

In villages where animals roam, disease can spread easily. Red Cross works with the community to build animal pens away from houses, and put fences around taps and water systems.

Promoting hygiene is as crucial to health. Red Cross helps families and children understand the importance of washing their hands regularly and boiling water.

Village health volunteers are trained in basic first aid and maternal & child health, including nutrition. This equips them to support mothers in caring for their children.

Strengthening Red Cross

A strong and well-resourced National Society is the best way to reach the most vulnerable people across a country. Australian Red Cross is committed to supporting Lao Red Cross through skilled volunteers and by sharing resources, systems, methodologies and best practice.


Photo credits: Dilini Perera, Bart Verweij (Australian Red Cross)