Change a life
50 years of living with the daily threat of unexploded cluster munitions is still hindering the development of Laos, which is considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world.
The People’s Democratic Republic of Laos has the highest level of contamination from explosive remnants of war of any country on the planet. Out of the 17 provinces in Laos, 15 are contaminated by some 80 million unexploded devices, for the most part cluster munitions dropped 50 years ago by the United States during the Vietnam War. They still strike terror into the hearts of the country’s citizens, killing and maiming indiscriminately. Since 1964, more than 50,000 people have been killed or injured by an accident caused by explosive remnants of war, almost half of them in peace time. Despite a fall in the number of victims over the past five years, there are still 40 to 50 unfortunate new casualties every year. What makes the situation all the more unacceptable is the fact that children are the main victims of these weapons.
Laos is one of the world’s poorest countries. It faces significant challenges, in particular the need to reduce the country’s high level of malnutrition. Access to health facilities in rural areas remain very limited and health workers lack both skills and training.