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Laos: ASEAN discusses strategies to strengthen assistance for victims of unexploded ordnance

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).

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Lao PDR - Strengthening institutional capacities for resilient recovery: Country Case Study Series Disaster Recovery Framework Guide April 2014

1. Introduction

1.1 Background

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.

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Neighbors on Alert as China Releases Deluge of Water from Mekong Dam

Report
Radio Free Asia

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.

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GIEWS Country Brief: Lao People's Democratic Republic 11-August-2014

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
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How to Destroy a 100-lb White Phosphorus Bomb

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.

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Lao women leading effort to clear millions of unexploded bombs left over from Vietnam War

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.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

© ABC

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Standard Operating Procedure (SOP): Damage, Loss and Needs Assessment (DaLNA) in Khammouane Province, Lao PDR

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.

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Planning, Budgeting and Financing: Post-Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction Activities in Khammouane Province, Lao PDR

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.

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Malaria outbreaks remain worrisome but progress is being made in response and control

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.

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Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Floods MDRLA003 DREF Final Report

Appeal history:

  • 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.

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World Bank Provides Grant for Disaster Risk Management in Lao PDR

Report
World Bank

Vientiane, June 11, 2014 --- The Government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) has received a technical assistance grant of $900,000 from the World Bank/Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) for the Building Resilience to Natural Hazards Project.

This project seeks to enhance the disaster risk management capacity of Lao PDR by strengthening the legal framework for hydro-meteorological services, enhancing post-disaster recovery planning, and providing technical assistance to strengthen Lao PDR’s fiscal resilience to natural hazards.

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This farmer can now work safely on his land for the first time in 40 years

Sithon will treasure this planting season as a special one: for the first time since the Vietnam War he could seed his rice safely, after MAG cleared almost 400 explosive weapons from his land.

Reporting by Eva Hegedus, Programme Officer, MAG Laos

"There were bombies [the local term for cluster submunitions] everywhere." Fifty-nine year old Sithon Manyvong recalls returning home to Naphia in 1975 after the Vietnam War had ended.

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GIEWS Country Brief: Lao People's Democratic Republic 30-May-2014

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • The 2014 rice production forecast to decrease for the second consecutive year
  • The 2013 rice production revised downward
  • Cereal exports in 2014, mostly maize, forecast at last year’s level
  • Food insecurity is of concern in parts of the country
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Laos “land grabs” drive subsistence farmers into deeper poverty

Report
IRIN

BAN HOUYTHAO, 22 May 2014 (IRIN) - "Land grabs" in Laos are driving poor farmers, including ethnic minorities, off their land, away from livelihoods they know and into further poverty, activists and experts say.

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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Disaster Management Reference Handbook - Lao PDR

Executive Summary

This country book focusing on Laos is intended to be a reference for individuals deploying to conduct disaster preparedness engagements or disaster response operations in Laos, but it is not meant to be a checklist or manual for all disaster response operations. The research team conducted extensive research and analysis on existing Lao plans, policies, and capabilities related to disaster management and risk reduction. The team also reached out to United States Government (USG) stakeholders and open source research to compile this book.

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How cluster bomb clearance changes lives

MAG and DFATD* are making it safe for families in Laos to grow crops on land that was contaminated by cluster munitions.

During the Vietnam War, 580,000 bombing missions were conducted over neighbouring Laos – that’s one mission every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, for nine years.

Mr Khamdee lives in Dang village in Khammouane Province, central Laos, close to the Ho Chi Minh Trail, which was heavily targeted by the aerial bombardment.

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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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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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LYL in Lao PDR

In the lead up to the Mine Ban Treaty’s Third Review Conference in June, the Lao Ban Advocates (BA), a group of cluster munition survivors supported by Handicap International, marked the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action with the Lend Your Leg campaign. This campaign aims to show solidarity and support to the victims of landmines and cluster munitions and to promote the Universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty.