EU aid to eliminate UXO threats in Lao PDR

from European Union
Published on 27 Feb 2014 View Original

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.

This funding for three new projects, channelled through NGO partners – Handicap International, MAG and Danish Church Aid, compliments our support to the National Regulatory Authority for the UXO/Mine Action Sector (NRA) and Lao National UXO Programme (UXO Laos), which is implemented by UNDP and will seek to alleviate health risks and poverty in the most affected communities of Phongsaly, Xiengkhuang and Savannakhet provinces. Projects' actions will mainly include UXO clearance, risk education and victim assistance.

The new projects have a specific focus on remote rural areas which often are the worst affected by UXO contamination.

Lao PDR is the most heavily-bombed nation in the world in per capita terms. The UXO represent a threat to physical safety, livelihoods and food security of people. Dealing with UXO is a priority both for the Government of Laos and the EU as well as its partners.

Speaking at the project launching event, Mr Michel Goffin, Chargé d'Affaires of the European Union Delegation to Laos said, “These projects mark the continuation of the long and fruitful relationship the European Union has with Laos. Together with our civil society partners, we remain committed to assisting Laos as it strives to eradicate poverty, and to achieve the country-specific MDG-9 in reducing UXO impact and fully implement Convention on Cluster Munitions CCM Vientiane Action Plan.”

The EU is one of the major donors for the UXO sector in Laos and works closely with National and International Organisations in the efforts to help the country reduce UXO risk and poverty by providing financial and technical assistances to implementing agencies in UXO sector.

"By working closely with our partners in both government and civil society, I am convinced that these projects will contribute significantly to the improvement of rural livelihoods and elimination of UXO threats benefiting many thousands of vulnerable people in Laos," added Mr Goffin.