JAPAN funds UXO Victim Assistance Project

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VIENTIANE,24.02.2012 (KPL)- The Government of Japan decided to provide grant assistance worth 359,833 US dollars for AAR Japan, a Japanese NGO to carry out the project of “Assistance for Survivors of Cluster Munitions and Other UXOs in Xieng Khouang Province (Phase II)”.
Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan) has supported production of wheelchairs and promoted social participation of persons with disabilities in Lao PDR since 2000.
The grant contract of the above project was signed on 22 February, 2012 at the Embassy of Japan to the Lao P.D.R, between Mrs. Junko Yokota, Ambassador of Japan to the Lao P.D.R, and Ms. Yumiko Yamashita, programme manager of AAR Japan with the attendance of officials concerned.
In September 2010, AAR JAPAN launched a new project supporting victims of Unexploded Ordinances (UXO) accidents in the most UXO affected northern province, Xieng Khouang. More than 2 million bombs were dropped during the Vietnam War of the 1960s and 1970s, leaving behind a vast number of undiscovered UXO, including cluster munitions.
Decades after the conflict, the effects of UXO are still felt in Laos, with at least 100-300 people injured or killed by UXO each year.
The aim of this project is to strengthen the level of emergency medical care for UXO survivors in Xiengkhouang, and improve their transportation to hospitals. It also supports improvement of the community awareness on UXO and enhances medical and livelihood assistances to the survivors of UXO accidents. Since 2010, AAR JAPAN has supplied first aid boxes for responding to UXO-related accidents, as well as offering first aid training to 140 village health volunteers in Peak and Phasay District in Xiengkhouang.
In the project phase 2, AAR will expand target districts to Phoukout and Kham District, and start to offer advanced training and supply medical equipment for nurses based at health centers in the remote area.
AAR also supports risk education to avoid further UXO accidents.