Between 1964 and 1973, during the height of the Vietnam War, more than two million tons of bombs were dropped in Laos. Up to a third of the bombs, or ordnance, discharged in the country did not explode and continue to maim and kill when disturbed. Thousands of people have been killed and injured since 1973, and more are hurt and killed each year in accidents caused by unexploded ordnance (UXO), particularly cluster bombs. About half of all UXO casualties are children, who find the ball-shaped cluster munitions or “bombies” while playing near their homes in rural communities. Survivors often suffer severe abdominal, chest, hand, arm, and head injuries.
Since 1996, World Education has worked in the areas of victims’ assistance, health systems capacity building, and mine risk education to address the legacy of UXO in Lao PDR. Through the War Victims Medical Fund, World Education provides medical support to survivors and victims of UXO and their families. This assistance includes rehabilitation and medical services, travel and accommodation during hospitalization and ongoing treatment, and funeral costs in the event of death. The Comprehensive Mine Risk Education project helps to prevent future accidents by educating children and communities about risks and safe practices associated with UXO.
Follow the links below for information on World Education Laos’ projects in the area of mine action:
- War Victims Medical Fund
- Comprehensive Mine Risk Education
- Victims Assistance Support Team (2014-2017)
- Medical Capacity Development (2012-2015)