Vientiane Capital, Lao P.D.R
UK provides extra funding of US$585,400 for HALO’s UXO clearance project
News-Post-Aqqount (2)

The government of the United Kingdom has signalled the continuation of their support for The HALO Trust’s UXO clearance operations in Savannakhet province though an award of US$585,400 for HALO’s UXO clearance project in Phin and Nong districts.

The project continuation was launched on March 14 after The HALO Trust signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs represented by the National Regulatory Authority for the UXO/Mine Action Sector (NRA).

From 1964-1973 Laos suffered heavy aerial bombardment during the Second Indochina War.
With over 2 million tons of munitions dropped, Laos is considered one of the most UXO contaminated countries per capita, with more than 50,000 victims of UXO since the end of the conflict.

The HALO Trust is the world’s largest humanitarian UXO clearance organisation and has been operating in Savannakhet province since 2012. The government of the United Kingdom began supporting The HALO Trust’s operations in Laos in 2014 through its Global Mine Action Programme.

It has since supported UXO clearance, survey, and risk education efforts in Savannakhet province though over US$4.5 million worth of funding over a 10-year period.

The continuation of the UK’s support will see The HALO Trust clear 70 hectares of high priority agricultural and residential land throughout Phin and Nong districts, which were heavily contaminated by cluster munitions during the Second Indochina War.

This funding will bolster Laos’ efforts to meet its obligations to remove cluster munitions under the Convention on Cluster Munitions, to which the United Kingdom is also a signatory.

At the event, British Ambassador to Laos Ms Melanie Barlow said “The UK government is proud to be one of the largest bilateral donors supporting work clearing UXO in Laos, providing over US$22 million from 2016-2023. We are committed to continuing this vital work, with further funding announced today. We are also proud that The Halo Trust is a UK humanitarian organisation. I will see first-hand how their work is helping the socio-economic development of Laos by decreasing the number of people who are killed or injured by UXO and clearing land for agricultural and community use.”

Since the start of operations in Savannakhet province, The HALO Trust has cleared over 35,000,000 square metres of UXO contaminated land and destroyed over 110,000 items of UXO.

The removal of unexploded ordnance is critical to improvinge the lives and livelihoods of people living in Savannakhet province, and the projects conducted by The HALO Trust will benefit those who are most at risk in areas with the highest amount of contamination.