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Japanese NGO tackling UXOs Donates COVID-19 Supplies to Lao People’s Army

Japan Mine Action Service (JMAS), a Japanese non-profit organization engaged in UXOs clearance donated COVID-19 cleaning and disinfecting supplies to the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) unit of the Lao People’s Army (LPA) in Vientiane on Jun 18.

The handover ceremony took place on the sidelines of an online seminar on HA/DR between Japan and Lao defence ministries.

Director of JMAS Mr. FUKU Eishige donated alcohol disinfectant, spray bottles, facial masks, hand soap, and splash-proof vinyl sheets to Col. Pathana Bouttichack, Deputy Head of the Office of General Staff Department, Ministry of National Defence, with the witness of Minister IWAMOTO Keiichi, Deputy Head of Japanese Embassy.

JMAS is engaged in removing landmines and UXOs globally. Here in Laos, JMAS has been conducting many UXO clearance projects in Xieng Khuang, Saravan, Attapeu and Champassak Provinces for more than fifteen years in cooperation with UXO Lao.

The Government of Japan is also assisting JMAS with necessary fund and equipment.

At the ceremony, Mr. FUKU said, “Improving the environment for better life and sustainable future is one of our main missions. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this all the more important. These gifts are a token of our friendship and unity. LPA plays a significant role in humanitarian assistance and UXO clearance operations. I sincerely hope this donation will protect LPA members and Lao people during the activities.”

Mr. FUKU, a retired officer of Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force, worked for JMAS mine clearing operations in Angola and Cambodia before moving to Laos in 2017.

COVID-19 had a major impact on their activities but JMAS is struggling to continue the operations by securing their staff with preventive measures including vaccination.

Currently JMAS is also working hard to support rural development and improve the livelihood of local people at farmland in Xieng Khuang Province.

Source: Lao News Agency