On 4 August 2016, Voice of America News correspondent Daniel De Carteret published an article entailing the state of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Laos, the number of UXO accidents that have occurred in Laos since the Vietnam War, and the number of UXO accident survivors in Laos currently receiving assistance.
Currently, the Lao government estimates that there are about 15,000 people in Laos who have been injured by unexploded ordnance and are in need of support; however, there are few support services available.
In an interview between Mr. De Carteret and World Education Country Director Colette McInerney, Ms. McInerney explains the lack of funding that allows many UXO survivors to fall through the gaps. She tells Mr. De Carteret, “For INGOs [international non-government organizations] and NPAs [non-profit associations], there really is a serious gap in funding to provide comprehensive support to survivors no matter where they live. And for survivors themselves, the financial burden on a family once someone is injured or killed is quite significant.”
With plans for President Obama to announce an increase in funding for the UXO sector this coming September, it is hoped that the remaining thousands of UXO survivors receive the assistance they deserve.