Methodist humanitarian group provides aid for UXO clearance

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times) -The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in the United States has provided over 4 billion kip (US$500,000) for MAG’s UXO operations in Khammuan province.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the project was signed in Vientiane on Friday between the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) for UXO/Mine Action Sector and MAG Laos.

The document was signed by the Head of Office of the NRA, Mr Chomyaeng Phengthongsawath, and Acting Country Director of MAG Laos, Mrs Joanne La Terriere. Also present were representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, and Khammuan authorities.

Unexploded ordnance contamination in Laos continues to pose a major humanitarian threat. Addressing this issue will reduce the number of UXO accidents, provide safe land for agricultural activities and contribute to the overall socio-economic development of Laos.

MAG Laos has been granted 18 months of funding from UMCOR with 12 months of project activity implementation.

With the grant of US$500,000, MAG will conduct technical surveys and UXO clearance in Khamhae, Hangkan, Xiengdao, Sang-Pungbon and Talak villages in Yommalath district.

Mrs La Terriere said “UXO impacted families are amongst the poorest members of Lao society, living at subsistence level in remote rural communities with limited access to basic services.”

“Under this 12 month project in Yommalath district, MAG will conduct surveys and UXO clearance in five villages. The total funding of US$500,000 over 12 months will be used for land release activities that will enhance the well-being and livelihoods of impoverished rural communities,” she said.

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