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UK provides over 36 billion kip for UXO clearance

The United Kingdom government will provide grant aid worth 36 billion kip (US$4,274,709) for clearing Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) and developing capacity in the UXO sector of Laos.
The funding will be provided to HALO Trust and Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) to support UXO clearance in Savannakhet, and a capacity development project under the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) for the UXO sector in Laos and the provincial NRA offices in Saravan, Champassak, Xekong and Attapeu.

The project will run until March 2020. A ceremony to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the project was organised in Vientiane last week. The document was signed by the Head of the Office of the National Regulatory Authority for UXO/Mine Action Sector, Mr Chomyaeng Phengthongsawath, Programme Manager of HALO Trust, Mr Paul Miller, and Country Director of NPA, Mr Aubrey Sutherland.
Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Mrs Baykham Khattiya and the UK Ambassador to Laos, Mr Hugh Evans attended the event.
HALO Trust will implement UXO clearance for Savannakhet province until March 2020. These activities will be funded by the UK’s Department for International Development through a grant worth £2,786,000.
The NPA will implement the projects of the NRA and the provincial NRA offices until March 2020, with funding from the UK’s Department for International Development through a grant worth US$513,709.
The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) is supporting both organisations to conduct clearance of cluster munition remnants. NPA also receives additional funding for clearance from the government of Norway.
The clearance of cluster munitions is critical to improving the lives and livelihoods of people living in Laos, and projects conducted by HALO Trust and NPA will benefit the most at-risk Lao citizens in areas with the highest contamination.
This will allow local people to use their land without fear of injury or death from cluster munitions.
NPA, supported by DFID, will work in close partnership with NRA to conduct capacity development activities to support NRA in fulfilling its mandate of managing, monitoring, and regulating the UXO sector.
This project will support several workshops and training programmes on information management, planning and prioritisation, and the procurement of essential information and communications equipment.
Support to NRA is vital to ensure the quality and sustainability of all survey and clearance activities conducted in the country.

By Phomphong Laoin
(Latest Update June 25, 2019)

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