Luxembourg supports UXO clearance and local development in Khammouane province
March 13, 2023
A kick-off meeting to launch a new UXO clearance project funded by the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg was officially held on March 9th in Khammouane province. The meeting took place in Lungkhang village, Boualapha district, between the Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme (UXO Lao), the Embassy of Luxembourg and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The project was designed to amplify the impact of UXO clearance by integrating UXO clearance into development planning. Accordingly, area clearance activities by UXO Lao will prioritize clearing the land designated for development support from the Luxembourg government that reflects the local government’s development priorities.
Line ministries at central level from Vientiane, local authorities in Khammouane, and representatives from the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency (LuxDev), as well as UXO Lao Khammouane were present at the meeting. Mr. Anousak Phongsa, National Programme Director of UXO Lao emphasised “Khammouane province is the fourth most UXO contaminated province in the country, and the contamination slows the socio-economic development in the villages”. He expressed his sincere appreciation to the Government of Luxembourg and UNDP for providing support to the people in Khammouane province.
Mr. Sam Schreiner, Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the Embassy of Luxembourg to Lao PDR, said “Luxembourg also has lots of UXO contamination problems, so we are fully aware of the issue and sympathize with how tragic it is. We are very glad to find the opportunity to support the UXO sector in Lao PDR.”
The meeting presented UXO Lao’s work plan and related LuxDev’s local development projects in Khammouane, followed by field visits at Soppeng, Thakachan and Nyavet villages - an opportunity to introduce local officials to the project, provide donors with a first-hand understanding of the communities who will benefit from this support, and to ensure effective coordination among all parties involved.
Ms. Minyoung Kim, UXO portfolio manager of UNDP Lao country office, said “UXO clearance will prepare the region for local development which will be supported by LuxDev. Such an integrated approach between UXO clearance operation and local development will boost the socio-economic development by increasing agricultural productivity and accelerating the development infrastructure construction, including schools, health and community centres in the region.”
The project, titled “Support Effectiveness and Efficiency in the UXO Sector to contribute to the achievement of SDG 18 and Safe Path Forward III (SPF III) and UXO Lao Operations in Khammouane Province”, will last from 2022 to 2024 and has a total budget of one million EURO.
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