Opening of Landmine Clearance Quality Management Training for NRA Quality Management staff

February 22, 2024

22 February 2024, Vientiane Capital – It is estimated that since the end of the Indochina war, more than 22,000 people have fallen victim to Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) in Lao PDR, almost half of whom died. An estimated 46% of casualties were children. Already in 2024, there have been 6 UXO accidents, in which 10 persons were injured and 3 persons killed. Moreover, 8 out of these 13 casualties, 61%, were children.  

To ensure that those clearing landmines meet national standards for safety and effectiveness, and can continue freeing communities from the threat of UXO, a quality management in mine clearance training course has been organized. The training is being  hosted by the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) for the UXO/ Mine Action Sector in Lao PDR, with technical support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and generous funding from the Government of Canada, at the NRA’s National Training Centrefrom 19-27 February, 2024. 

Lao PDR holds the unfortunate distinction of being the most heavily bombed country per capita in history.  More than 50 years after bombs were dropped on Lao PDR, unexploded ordnance, including landmines, continue to kill and maim, causing unacceptable harm to innocent civilians and adding substantial costs to the achievement of national development priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Speaking at the opening of the training, Ms. Marina Ten, UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative a.i. highlighted, “The presence of unexploded remnants of war creates a vast and continuing burden making everyday activities risky.  As a result, economic opportunities that could spur growth and accelerate human development, are restricted, complicated and made more expensive. And this affects the poorest disproportionately.” Ms. Ten added that, to meet the ambitious clearance targets of the Safe Path Forward 3 and the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan, the leadership function of the NRA will be vital in deciding priorities, setting standards and measuring impact.  

Staff of the NRA Quality Management (QM) team were introduced to the theory and practice of clearing landmines, in what is the first of a series of trainings to build national capacity for quality management of landmine clearance operations. In developing a quality management capacity at the National Regulatory Authority (NRA), the government will be able to accredit organisations for landmine clearance and undertake quality assurance and quality control on operations, in pursuance of Lao PDR’s unique national Sustainable Development Goal 18, Lives Safe from UXO.  This has been made possible by the the generous support of the Government of Canada, who have provided 750,000 Canadian Dollars for the “Building National Demining Capacity in Lao PDR Project" to run from November 2022 to December 2025.  

Mr. Bob Paquin, Chargé d’Affaires of the Office of the Embassy of Canada said, "Canada is here to support UXO work in Lao PDR. This includes SDG 16 for Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, and contributing meaningfully here in Laos towards SDG 18. He said that Canada is proud to help build capacity to tackle the scourge of landmines in Lao PDR. "Canada has contributed more than $4.7 million since 1996 towards UXO related activities in Laos PDR". He further added that Canada assists in UXO projects with the belief that "UXO and landmine clearance is more than the removal of explosives remnants of war: it is a prerequisite to meeting commitments to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals." 

The NRA, with the support of UNDP and the generous funding of the Government of Canada, reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring excellence and safety in UXO/Mine Action clearance nationwide.  


For more information, please contact:

Aksonethip Somvorachit, Communications Analyst, UNDP Lao PDR


Telephone: 021 267 778

Mobile: 020 5502 1550