The EU and the U.S. Provide Grant to Lao PDR

 

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MAG (Mines Advisory Group) has recently been tasked with a new project to collaborate with the UXO sector in Lao PDR to clear UXO from Boualapha, Mahaxay and Xatbuathong of Khammouane province. Valued at 700,000 euro (US$975,026),1 the European Union and the United States cosponsor the project, with the EU contributing 600,000 euro (US$835,613)1 and the U.S. Government granting US$142,7211 (102,442 euro)2. In addition, the EU plans to launch another UXO program in 2012.2 The EU promised the Lao Government a grant for this clearance project if it fulfilled its UXO obligations under the Convention on Cluster Munitions.3

Meeting with local representatives is the first step toward developing a community safety plan.
A villager shows community liaison staff unexploded bomblets in Nong Boua village, Lao PDR.
Photo courtesy of Sean Sutton/MAG.

On 8 July 2011, the EU issued its first funding disbursement for the new MAG clearance project; this is the fourth partnership between the EU and MAG, and it builds on previous funding by the European Commission.3 From 2000 to 2010, the EC and various EU member states provided roughly 29 million euros (US$39,438,046)2 in assistance to Lao PDR.4 During that same time period, the U.S. dedicated more than $36 million (25,844,700 euros) to UXO action in Lao PDR. In 2010, the United States contributed $5,102,000 (3,662,687euros) for mine-action support to the country, of which $1,400,000 was used to fund MAG operations.5

According to MAG Country Programme Manager David Hayter, the opportunity for MAG to work with local authorities will ensure optimal use of resources; moreover, MAG will complete a UXO survey for the National Regulatory Authority—Lao PDR’s UXO and landmine organization—and provide land clearance for contaminated areas within Khammouane province.1,3 J

Blake Williamson, CISR staff.

Center for International Stabilization and Recovery
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA / USA
Tel: +1 540 568 2503
http://cisr.jmu.edu


Endnotes

  1. Currency converted on 24 October 2011.
  2. “EC-funded MAG project to clear UXO, and to work with the local authorities on mapping UXO contamination.” Embassy of the United States Vientiane Laos. 8 July 2011. http://1.usa.gov/mORcAb. Accessed 9 August 2011.
  3. Latsaphao, Khonesavanh. “EU follows through on UXO grant promise.” Vientiane Times. 11 July 2011. http://www.vientianetimes.la/sub-new/Current/Curren_EU.htm. Accessed 9 August 2011.

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