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When the ground isn’t safe – Playing football in the shadow of cluster bombs

19-year-old Mini Phanthavong is a talented football player from Phonsavan, a town about 400km north of Laos’ capital Vientiane. At the age of 16, he joined his football-playing friends on an incredible journey to Sweden, where they competed in the largest youth football tournament of the world.

Playing football in Sweden is different from playing in Laos. Not only is Sweden on the other side of the world and has it got lots of lush flat grass to play on; in Sweden Mini did not have to fear kicking the ball off the football pitch into a cluster bomb contaminated area.

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World + 10 others
Mensaje del Día de Acción contra las Minas 2014: promover un mundo libre de minas

Nueva York - El 4 de abril, Día de Acción contra las Minas, la ONU contribuirá a la concientización sobre los efectos devastadores que los restos explosivos de guerra siguen teniendo sobre las comunidades, incluso décadas después de que los conflictos lleguen a su fin.

Este año, tras el anuncio por parte de Jordania y Uganda de que son países libres de minas, que Etiopía y Mozambique esperan poder anunciar que pronto van a seguir su ejemplo, y que otros países están acabando con las municiones en racimo, se está dando un paso más hacia un mundo más seguro.

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World + 11 others
Œuvrer pour un monde sans mines antipersonnel

Le 4 avril, Journée internationale de la lutte antimines, l’ONU aidera à attirer l’attention sur le coût humain dévastateur des restes explosifs de guerre dans certaines communautés, parfois des dizaines d’années après la fin d’un conflit.

Cette année, alors que la Jordanie et l’Ouganda viennent de se déclarer débarrassés de leurs champs de mines, l’Éthiopie et le Mozambique s’apprêtent à annoncer qu’ils devraient bientôt faire de même. Comme d’autres pays sont, eux aussi, en train d’éliminer leurs armes à sous-munitions, le monde est en passe de devenir moins dangereux.

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World + 10 others
Mine Action Day 2014 - A Roundup of UNDP's Demining Efforts

New York - On Mine Action Day on 4 April, the UN will help raise awareness of the devastating toll that explosive remnants of war continue to exact upon communities, sometimes decades after conflicts come to an end.

This year, with Jordan and Uganda recently announcing that they are free of mine fields, Ethiopia and Mozambique expected to announce that they will soon follow suit, and other countries ridding themselves of cluster munitions, we are one step closer to a safer world.

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World + 4 others
Ho Chi Minh City Declaration: Water, Energy and Food security in the context of climate change for the Mekong River Basin

Preamble

We, the Heads of the Governments of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the Kingdom of Thailand, and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, meet in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam, for the Second Summit of the Mekong River Commission (MRC).

We reaffirm the vital importance of sustainable use and management of water and related resources of the Mekong River Basin and the continuing political commitment to implement the 1995 Mekong Agreement, and consolidate the spirit of Mekong cooperation;

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Viet Nam + 1 other
APOPO expands to Vietnam and Lao PDR

Report
APOPO vzw

The German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) has partnered with APOPO to provide funds for APOPO to help build capacity in Vietnam and Lao PDR for unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance projects. APOPO will assist National and provincial partners to coordinate and monitor mine action activities which will increase the efficiency of land release in the South East Asia region and save many innocent lives.

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Mine Awareness Day: The Vietnam War is still claiming victims

Report
ACT Alliance

April 4th is International Mine Awareness Day and DanChurchAid tells the story of Laos. The country where millions of bombs were dropped during the Vietnam War, and how the bombs still pose an everyday threat for the civilians in Laos

02.04.2014 by Nikolaj Søndergaard

Usually it is a bit of an overstatement when someone says, it is ‘raining’ something – but to characterize the bombardments of Laos during the Vietnam War as ‘raining bombs’ is actually quite accurate.

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Zambian President of the Convention on Cluster Munitions visits most heavily affected country Laos

In his capacity as President of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, Zambian Minister Hon. Wylbur C. Simuusa has paid a visit to Laos.

Laos is the country most heavily contaminated by cluster munition remnants, left over from bombings during the Indochina War of the 1960s and 1970s. During this period the United States dropped over 2 million tons of ordnance over Laos in 580,000 bombing missions. At least 270 million cluster bomblets were dropped as part of the bombing campaign; approximately 80 million failed to detonate.

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The 2013 Laos Floods: Responding to a disaster through a unique peer-to-peer cooperation between National Societies

In September 2013, seasonal flooding in two southern provinces of Laos were the worst experienced in 30 years. The Lao Red Cross, with support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), French and Thai Red Cross, have been conducting a relief operation since October to assist 10,000 people with food, hygiene and non-food items. The IFRC released 300,000 Swiss francs from the disaster relief emergency fund to support the activities. The DREF operation closes on 2 April 2014.

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Fiji + 5 others
Dengue Situation Update, 25 March 2014

Regional dengue activity is variable. Australia, Malaysia and Singapore have been experiencing a greater number of reported cases in 2014 compared to 2013, for the same time period. The recent trend continued to decrease in Cambodia, Lao PDR, New Caledonia, Philippines and Viet Nam.

Malaysia is experiencing an outbreak of dengue. Dengue activity in 2014 is more than 4 times higher than 2013, for the same time period.

Singapore is experiencing an increased level of dengue activity. Dengue activity in 2014 is 1.2 times higher than 2013, for the same time period.

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World + 20 others
Climate change threatening small island countries and posing a danger to food security in landlocked states

Mongolia Ministry of Industry and Agriculture convenes high-level forum to discuss remedial action – 10 Government Ministers attend

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 12 Mar 2014 -- While the environments of small islands in the Pacific and landlocked countries with no access to the sea may seem polar opposites, they share common problems that need collaborative efforts to address and resolve if food security is to be guaranteed for future generations, a specially convened meeting in the Mongolian capital has heard.

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World + 22 others
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs farewells Australian Volunteers for International Development

Senator the Hon Brett Mason farewelled 116 volunteers soon to depart to developing countries, during a reception at Old Parliament House this week.

The group was in Canberra to undergo training and make final preparations for their volunteering assignments.

The volunteers will be placed with host organisations for a period of 12 months to 2 years, and will assist with projects ranging from surf lifesaving training to providing advice in the use of Geographic Information Systems.

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More work on HIV in Laos needed

Report
IRIN

VIENTIANE, 12 March 2014 (IRIN) - Health officials say more work is needed to fight HIV/AIDS in Laos, which has an over-reliance on foreign donors and lack of government support, as well as limited treatment coverage and a widespread gap in awareness and testing.

IRIN:

A selection of IRIN reports are posted on ReliefWeb. Find more IRIN news and analysis at http://www.irinnews.org

Une sélection d'articles d'IRIN sont publiés sur ReliefWeb. Trouvez d'autres articles et analyses d'IRIN sur http://www.irinnews.org

This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. Refer to the IRIN copyright page for conditions of use.

Cet article ne reflète pas nécessairement les vues des Nations Unies. Voir IRIN droits d'auteur pour les conditions d'utilisation.

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EU aid to eliminate UXO threats in Lao PDR

Report
European Union

The European Union (EU) is providing more than €2.3 million ($3.2millon) aid to assist vulnerable people, ethnic minorities and those living in Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) plagued areas in Laos.

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Philippines + 14 others
Asia-Pacific Humanitarian Bulletin 2013

The year was marked by 137 natural disasters in the region, compared with 93 separate events in 2012. The number of people killed by disasters was almost six times higher.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.

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Laos's urban-rural WASH divide

Report
IRIN

VIENTIANE, 5 March 2014 (IRIN) - Laos has been growing at 8 percent a year over the past decade but rural areas, where most people still live, are being left behind in terms of access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, health experts warn.

Nearly half of the Lao rural population practices open defecation, the second highest rate in Southeast Asia, says a 2013 UN joint monitoring report.

IRIN:

A selection of IRIN reports are posted on ReliefWeb. Find more IRIN news and analysis at http://www.irinnews.org

Une sélection d'articles d'IRIN sont publiés sur ReliefWeb. Trouvez d'autres articles et analyses d'IRIN sur http://www.irinnews.org

This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. Refer to the IRIN copyright page for conditions of use.

Cet article ne reflète pas nécessairement les vues des Nations Unies. Voir IRIN droits d'auteur pour les conditions d'utilisation.

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Little help for UXO victims in Laos

Report
IRIN

VIENTIANE, 27 February 2014 (IRIN) - Around 25 percent of villages in Laos are contaminated by unexploded ordnance (UXOs), mainly from US bombing missions between 1964 and 1973, according to the Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme, and while UXO casualties have fallen sharply in recent years there is little support for UXO victims, whose injuries can drastically affect their families.

IRIN:

A selection of IRIN reports are posted on ReliefWeb. Find more IRIN news and analysis at http://www.irinnews.org

Une sélection d'articles d'IRIN sont publiés sur ReliefWeb. Trouvez d'autres articles et analyses d'IRIN sur http://www.irinnews.org

This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. Refer to the IRIN copyright page for conditions of use.

Cet article ne reflète pas nécessairement les vues des Nations Unies. Voir IRIN droits d'auteur pour les conditions d'utilisation.