Vientiane, 22 January 2015 – The Government of Norway today renews its support to assist the UXO Sector in Lao PDR with a contribution of 6,000,000 NOK (approximately US$886,132) in support of UXO Lao’s operational capacity to clear Confirmed Hazardous Areas (CHA). These funds will be received through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and covers the period 1st October 2014 to 30th September 2015.
By Terri O'Quinn
The first batch of USDA food contribution for 2015-2017 to WFP School Meals Programme has arrived in Vientiane. The SuperCereal and vitamin-enriched vegetable oil will be transported to over 1,500 village schools, including the remotest areas of Laos, for community cooks to prepare a daily mid-morning snack for pre-primary and primary students. The nutritious snack encourages students to come to school, reduces hunger and helps the students concentrate in classes.
Forty years after the end of the Vietnam War, cluster bombs and other explosives leftover from the war continue to claim, on average, one new victim a week in Laos. Laos was not fighting in the Vietnam War, but the U.S. conducted about 600,000 bombing missions over the country, with an aim to cut supply lines to North Vietnam. As a result, Laos is the most heavily cluster-bomb polluted country on earth.
In the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, a large number of bombs dropped during the Indochina Wars still remain unexploded throughout the country, hindering the country’s economic and social development. Against this backdrop, Japan and the United States will contribute to clearing unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Laos and will keep each other informed of their progress as part of the Japan-U.S. cooperation for the clearance of landmines and UXO in Southeast Asia.
3 PROVINCES, 5 DISTRICTS & 30,000 HOUSEHOLDS
Authorities in Laos have been asked to consult with civil society groups and foreign donors on a controversial set of guidelines that could restrict the operations of international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) working in the country, according to the United Nations development agency.
The European Union (EU) has announced it has allocated up to EUR 60 million (KIP 60 billion, USD 75 million) to Laos under its bilateral cooperation programme over the period 2014-2015 to improve basic education and food and nutrition security and strengthen good governance as well as the rule of law and human rights.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
•2014 rice output is forecast to decrease slightly, but remains just above average
•Cereal exports in 2014 forecast to increase from last year’s high level
•Food insecurity is of concern in parts of the country
VIENTIANE - The U.S. Ambassador to Laos PDR, Daniel Clune, announced today that the U.S. government, through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), would support WFP’s mid-morning snack and lunch programmes in Laos with US$27 million to assist more than 170,000 children over the next three years.
Luang Prabang (ICRC) – Twenty-four experts from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam gathered in Luang Prabang today to discuss national policies and best practices that could benefit people injured in accidents involving unexploded ordnance and improve their lives, as well as prevent new victims in the future. The one-day workshop was organized by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
In 2011, the World Reconstruction Conference recommended the development of an international best practice Recovery Framework Guide to assist governments and partner agencies in delivering effective and efficient post-disaster recovery programs. In application, the Disaster Recovery Framework (DRF) Guide is intended to complement the government-led Post-disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) process – an assessment method that presents damages and losses in a consolidated report.
Huge volumes of water being discharged from a hydropower dam on the Mekong River in southern China’s Yunnan province have placed the country’s downstream neighbors on high alert amid concerns over possible flash floods.
Officials in Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia are closely monitoring levels of the Southeast Asian artery after being informed by Beijing that the 1,750-megawatt Jinghong dam will need to release a huge volume of water downstream from Sept. 5-30 due to heavy rain upstream.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
- The 2014 rice output is forecast to decrease slightly
- Rice production in 2013 was revised downward
- Cereal exports in 2014 forecast to increase slightly
- Food insecurity is of concern in parts of the country
This 100-pound white phosphorus bomb was found in a rice field in Khammouane province, Laos. White phosphorus munitions were used extensively during the Vietnam War.
All 17 provinces in Laos and around a quarter of all villages suffer from unexploded ordnance (UXO) contamination. More than 90 per cent of people living in these areas live in fear of UXO. The most common worry is that children will be killed or injured whilst they are playing.
By Sally Sara
Women are on the frontline of the effort to find and destroy millions of unexploded cluster bombs which are still claiming lives decades after being dropped on Laos.
The US dropped up to 260 million cluster bombs on Laos during the Vietnam War - the equivalent of one bombing mission every eight minutes, for nine years.
It left Laos as the most heavily bombed country, per capita, in the world.
From 24 to 26 June 2011, Typhoon Haima swept through the northern and central provinces of Lao PDR, causing widespread flooding in four provinces – Bolikhamxay, Xayaboury, Vientiane, and Xiengkhouang. The floods caused extensive damage to people’s livelihoods, property, and to social and physical infrastructure.
This guideline on planning, budgeting and financing guides all provincial and district government officials to prepare a recovery plan which is responsive to the outcomes of the Damage, Loss, and Needs Assessments in Khammouane province.
Despite a substantial reduction of the malaria burden, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic continues to experience outbreaks and the country’s first-line drugs are beginning to lose effectiveness. A national strategy is being developed to tackle the challenge.
A DREF Operation was initially launched on 3 October 2013 for CHF 292,168 to support Lao Red Cross (LRC) in delivering immediate assistance to 10,000 beneficiaries (2,000 families) for six months and to further assess needs.
Operations Update 1 (dated 6 November 2013) reported on initial steps to procure in-country relief goods and plans for Thai Red Cross to provide in-kind support in terms of staff to be deployed to LRC.