Crisis Prevention & Recovery

During the Second Indochina War (1964-1975), more than two million tons of explosive ordnance were dropped on Laos, making it, per capita, the most heavily-bombed country in the world. Today, much of the country is still contaminated with cluster sub-munitions and other Unexploded Ordnance (UXO). These kill and injure dozens of people a year, and their presence negatively affects socioeconomic development, preventing access to agricultural land and increasing the costs, through land clearance, of all development projects. In 2010, Lao PDR introduced a localised Millennium Development Goal, MDG9: to reduce the impact of UXO. The same year, the Convention on Cluster Munitions came into force, obliging Lao PDR to make specific progress on UXO.

Our Goals

Through the Government's National Unexploded Ordnance Programmee (UXO Lao), UNDP and other partners help to clear land with improved technology, training de-miners and offering community-based UXO risk education and surveys, particularly in the most UXO-affected provinces. UNDP also seeks to improve the overall coordination and planning of the UXO sector as a whole through its institutional support to the National Regulatory Authority for the UXO and Mine Sector. more

UXO Lao, the national clearance operator, making land safe in Xieng Khouang province.

Photo: UNDP Lao PDR/Laophotomore

Our Stories

UXO clearance team
UXO clearance team. Photo: UNDP Lao PDR/Daniel Hodgson

Clearing the way for Lao PDR

Treading lightly with her bare feet, 48-year-old Lar from Pakmong village in Lao PDR’s northern Luang Prabang Province smiles at her rice paddies where seedlings slowly mature into the main staple of the country. “We are rice and vegetable farmers”, says the mother of five, “but imagine our shock when my husband and I one day dug out a bombie while working in the field."more 

Virtual Reality film
Virtual Reality films viewed through headsets create a perfectly immersive experience. Photo: UN in Lao PDR/Daniel Hodgson

Step into the reality of a UXO clearance team

UNDP Lao PDR has taken UXO Lao's 20th anniversary as an opportunity to produce UNDP's first Virtual Reality film and put the viewer right into the field, with a demining team. Through the power of virtual reality, we witness the extreme work of this team, and follow Saysamone, the team leader and her crew.more 

Projects and Initiatives