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Overview

The UXO Sector in Laos officially began in 1996 with the creation of a national clearance agency, UXO Lao, by Prime Ministerial Decree and with a mandate to reduce the number of casualties caused by unexploded ordnance, and to increase the amount of land available for food production and other socio-economic development activities. The Sector was initially supported by the UNDP and UNICEF, support continuing to this day.

The Sector did in reality though begin well before 1996 in an informal nature, as communities, villages, and families living with the constant threat of unexploded ordnance, accordingly developed their own risk reduction strategies and clearance techniques. These amateur methods were employed at the local level for a very long time to some effect before an institutional body was formed.

Today, the Sector is well organised, dynamic, productive, and institutionally strong. Under the stewardship of the NRA, government ministries, international donors, and international and domestic agencies alike, are all a part of the UXO network; a network whose unified ambition is to see the Lao PDR free from the threat of UXO and for the nation to grow and prosper.

Achievements

The NRA Office monitors progress. It houses as much historical information as has been found, and consolidates this with ongoing, current reporting as it is received by sector operators.

The most up-to-date and complete figures available are for the period 1996 to December 2009. Within this period the UXO Sector achieved the following:

Total UXO Destroyed
1,090,228 items
Cluster Bombs Cleared
480,297
Hectares Cleared
23,070 ha
- for Development Purposes
7,139 ha
- for Agricultural Purposes
15,931 ha
Risk Education Conducted in
12,039 villages

The Three Pillars of UXO/Mine Action

The UXO Sector today has three key pillars of activity, these are: Clearance, Risk Education, and Victim Assistance

These primary work themes still dominate much of the overall sector planning, collaboration and output. Regular meetings on these key issues, called Technical Working Groups, involving all relevant partners, are a key mechanism for strategy direction, work-planning, co-operation, transparency and consensus building in the Sector. 
However, other emerging aspects of the wider effort such as Information Management, Quality Control, Capacity Building, Treaty Support, and Advocacy are equally as critical to the collective effectiveness and accomplishments..

uxo-clearance mre uxo-victim