- General

Laos, UNDP and KOICA sign USD11 million partnership to support UXO sector in the Lao PDR

The Government of the Lao PDR, the Government of the Republic of Korea, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have signed a USD11-million project to support a sustainable UXO sector in the Lao PDR.

The Government of the Republic of Korea, through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the Korean Government is contributing USD11 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 main objective of the Support to the Establishment of a Sustainable UXO Sector Project (2022-2026) is aimed to strengthen the national ownership and greater resilience of the sector in the country, 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. The project will be implemented as part of the Government of the Lao PDR and UNDP’s UXO Programme, Supporting Efficiency in the UXO Sector to contribute to the achievement of SDG 18 and Safe Path Forward III (2022-2026).

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, capacity enhancement of the NRA, and stronger legislative environment of the sector.

Mr Paduenphone Sonethany, Vice Minister of Labour and Social Welfare 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 the Lao PDR through the United Nations Development Programme. The third phase of this project will focus on strengthening and sustaining the work of resolving the problem of unexploded ordnance in the Lao PDR over the next five years.”

“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,” said Moohong Im, Ambassador of Republic of Korea to the Lao PDR.

The 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 the Lao PDR by continuing their support to address the UXO problem in the country. Ms. Riegercarda said, “I am delighted to be able to count on the support of the Korean government to support the Government of the Lao PDR’s efforts to meet the sector’s needs and achieve the targets set out in the national development plans and under SDG 18”.

It is envisaged that the project will contribute to the 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.

Source: Lao News Agency