Vientiane, Monday, 9th May 2022 – The Government of the Republic of Korea, the Government of Lao PDR and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), have signed a USD 11 million- project to support a sustainable UXO sector in Lao PDR.
Through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the Korean Government is contributing USD 11 million as the third Phase of their support to the UXO sector based on the best practices and lessons learned through the partnership between KOICA, UNDP and Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare since 2015.
The new project- Support to the Establishment of a Sustainable UXO Sector Project (2022-2026) is aimed to strengthen the national ownership and greater resilience, by increasing the capacity of the National Regulatory Authority for the UXO and Mine Action Sector (NRA) and the Humanitarian Lao Army teams.
Through this project, more prioritized land will be released for socio economic development. Community exposure to the UXO threat will also be reduced and victims’ rights increased. With UNDP’s programmatic and technical support, the project will implement schemes for survey and clearance by the 20 Humanitarian Lao Army teams, explosive ordnance risk reduction, and stronger legislative environment of the sector.
His Excellency Mr. Paduenphone Sonethany, Vice Minister of Labour and Social Welfare of Lao PDR said, “Since 2015, the first phase of the project has been implemented until now, the third phase of the project. The Government of the Republic of Korea has provided grants for the clearance of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Lao PDR through the United Nations Development Program. The third phase of this project will focus on strengthening and sustaining the work of resolving the problem of unexploded ordnance, including the implementation of the obligations of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the release of land, and the provision of other UXO services in the community.”
His Excellency Moohong Im, Ambassador of RoK to Lao PDR said “The Korean government, through KOICA, first contributed USD 3 million in 2015, increasing our contribution to USD 5.5. million in 2018. This 3rd cooperation agreement is worth 11 million US dollars. I am confident that the continued cooperation between the two countries in the field of UXO will contribute to the realization of Laos' Sustainable Development Goal No. 18, Lives Safe From UXO”.
UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Ricarda Rieger, thanked KOICA and the Government of the Republic of Korea for the partnership and commitment to improving the wellbeing of marginalized people and accelerating the development of Lao PDR by continuing their support to address the UXO problem in the country. Ms. Rieger added, “I am delighted to be able to count on the support of the Korean government to the Government of Lao PDR’s efforts to meet the sector’s needs and achieve the targets set out in the national development plans and SDG 18”.
It is envisaged that the project will contribute to Lao PDR’s effort to achieve the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (9th NSEDP), ten-year national UXO sector strategy; Safe Path Forward III, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); especially SDG 18 on lives safe from UXO, SDG 1 on poverty reduction, SDG 10 on reduced inequalities, SDG 16 peace, justice and strong institutions and SDG 17 on partnership for the goals.
For more information, please contact: Ms. Aksonethip Somvorachit, UNDP Communications Analyst, 020 5502 1550, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reducing the impact of UXO is Lao PDR's own national Sustainable Development Goal. By commiting to Goal 18 as a part of the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Laos holds itself accountable to advancing the reduction of UXO impact and contributing to many other goals at the same time, e.g. Goal 1, Ending Poverty. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals. Learn more about Goal 18 and its targets.