Supporting Effectiveness and Efficiency in the UXO Sector to contribute to the achievement of SDG 18 and Safe Path Forward III 


The project aims to strengthen development-focused land clearance and other activities, including survey and clearance of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO), Victim Assistance (VA), Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE), and advocacy, in support of achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 18, and implementing Safe Path Forward III 2021-2030 (SPF III), the current ten-year UXO sector strategic plan for Lao PDR. The project focuses on the realization of rights for communities to live and be free from the threats of UXO. The project will achieve this through UNDP support to the National Regulatory Authority for UXO/Mine Action Sector in Lao PDR (NRA) and Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme (UXO Lao). The focus is on high priority land release, enhancing coordination, prioritization, and monitoring of UXO/mine action activities to drive the achievement of SDG 18, implementation of SPF III, and compliance with the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM).  


Fifty years since the Paris Peace Accords (1973) formally ended the conflict in Lao PDR, UXO remains a major humanitarian and socioeconomic challenge. Every year, UXO causes deaths and injuries, limits access to potentially productive land, and adds substantial costs development efforts.   

The Government of Lao PDR has been active in the UXO clearance since shortly after the conflict ended. Lao PDR has advocated for the CCM and embraced the UXO issue as a key development matter by establishing country-specific SDG, SDG 18: “Lives Safe from UXO.”


UNDP support to the UXO sector in Lao PDR is focused on the following:

  • Strengthening the capacity and technical competency of the NRA to oversee and direct the sector in pursuance of national strategic goals and achieving SDG 18 in compliance with the CCM.   
  • Providing financial and programmatic support for survey and clearance to the Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme (UXO Lao) and the Humanitarian teams of the Lao People’s Army (Unit 58) towards clearance of high-priority land in impacted communities. 
Major Achievements: 
  • UXO clearance, in combination with risk education activities, helped reduce the number of casualties to 20 in 2022 and 47 in 2023, moving closer to the national target of less than 40 casualties per year.   
  • According to the NRA Operation Dashboard (as of April 2024), the project has surveyed 6,398 ha and cleared 1,371 ha of high-priority land in Bolikhamxay, Champasak, Khammouane, Vientiane, Xekong and Xiengkhouang provinces. Efforts were made to put the restored UXO-contaminated lands to more productive use. As a result, 120,769 people in these six provinces can now safely access and use their land for farming and income-generating activities.   
  • In 2023, Unit 58 established 13 new teams (4 Non-Technical Survey (NTS)/EORE, 4 TS and 5 CL) with support from the Government of the Republic of Korea. Also, two UXO Lao clearance teams began operations in Khammouane province for a new project funded by Luxembourg to directly integrate UXO clearance with LuxDev local development activities in the province.   
  • In 2023, NRA’s Quality Management unit was expanded from two to four teams to strengthen the quality management capacity of the Lao government.  
  • In 2023, the NRA and UNDP jointly produced several knowledge products to assess project activities and guide best practices in the sector. A Post Clearance Impact Assessment (PCIA) was published and is available online from both UNDP and the NRA’s websites. The reports resulting from a Gender Analysis of the UXO Sector, and a Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice (KAP) Survey related to UXO risk education have been finalized and will be published in Q2, 2024.    
GESI (Gender Equality & Social Inclusion) component :

UNDP advocates for mainstreaming inclusion (including gender, disability, and ethnicity) in the UXO sector by driving equity in the implementation of the UXO programme. Careful consideration will be given to the engendered nature of UXO victims, the roles and needs of women and men in land clearance processes, risk education, and victims' assistance. Furthermore, the project will work to ensure that linguistic and cultural differences in the Lao population are accounted for and that the voices of persons with disabilities are actively sought and valued in planning processes and community consultations. 

Project details: 
  • Status: Active 
  • Start Date: 1 April 2022  
  • End Date: 31 December 2026 
  • Project Office: UNDP Lao PDR, NRA and UXO Lao  
  • Focus Area: Achieving SDG 18: “Lives safe from UXO” and implementation of Safe Path Forward III (2021-2030)
  • Implementing Partners: Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare 
  • Responsible Parties: NRA and UXO Lao 
  • Total budget: US$ 25 million (19.9 million mobilized as of March 2024) 
  • Collaborating Partners: The Government of the Republic of Korea, The Government of New Zealand, The Government of Ireland, The Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, The Government of Canada   

For more information:

Ms. Martine Thérer

Resident Representative

Tel: (+856 21) 267 702



Ms. Minyoung Kim, UXO Portfolio Manager/UXO Unit Head

UNDP Lao PDR; Tel (+856 21) 267 793;