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EU launches call for proposals to support UXO clearance

The European Union has made available 2.4 million euros to be spent on projects that implement activities to support the removal of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Laos.

The EU is calling for project proposals that are designed to reduce the number of UXO casualties, to meet the Convention on Cluster Munitions obligations relating to the assistance of UXO victims.

This will include improvements to access to livelihood opportunities and psycho-social support for UXO casualties and their families.

The funding aims to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 18 and, in particular, to improved rural livelihoods through the removal of constraints on farming and rural development. One of the biggest challenges to Laos' development is the more than 80 million unexploded cluster munitions that were left scattered across the land after the conflict in Indochina in the 1960s and 70s. These devices still pose a serious danger and continue to injure and kill civilians today, almost 40 years after the conflict ended. The Lao government recognises UXO contamination as an ongoing development challenge and welcomes support from friendly countries as UXO contamination continues to threaten the physical safety, livelihoods, and food security of people in more than 25 percent of villages in Laos.

An accident that happened on March 21 last year in Paek district, Xieng Khuang province, is typical of the tragic consequences that can arise. In this case, an explosion claimed the life of a primary school student and injured 14 other people.

The European Union has been providing continued financial support to projects for UXO clearance, risk education and victim assistance and is committed to help the government deal with the problem of UXO.

Under this call for proposals, the proposed project actions should include relevant UXO activities aimed at supporting the achievement of SDG 18, in line with the UXO strategic document, Safe Path Forward II and the enhancement of opportunities for rural livelihoods affected by UXO contamination.

Where appropriate, actions should complement other EU initiatives and avoid duplication of government and/or other development partners' actions. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the relevant line ministries/agencies prior to designing the proposed action, so as to be in line with the sectoral strategic direction/policy document. To assist in the proposal writing process, an Information Session will be held on May 3 at the EU Delegation Office in Vientiane, starting at 9:30 am.

The deadline for project proposal submission is July 14, 2017, at 12:00 noon Brussels time. Interested applicants can seek further information athttps://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/online-services/index.cfm?ADSSChck=1490163535857&do=publi.welcome&nbPubliList=15&searchtype=RS&aofr=154840&orderbyad=Desc&orderby=upd&userlanguage=en

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update March 28, 2017)

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