VIENTIANE -- Chinese government handed over seven ambulances and medical supplies worth 3 million yuan ($480,000) in support of unexploded ordnance (UXO) to Lao authorities on April 2.
The ambulances will be allocated to provincial hospitals that deal with the majority of the nation’s UXO casualties, as well as to the army’s UXO Humanitarian Unit.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Chinese Ambassador to Laos Guan Huabing acknowledged the challenge posed by UXO to development efforts in the country.
He said China sympathized with Laos as it had also been a victim of war.
As such, China would continually support the Lao government and people in dealing with the challenges to the fullest extent of its capacity to facilitate the country’s peaceful development.
Minister to the Government Office and Chairman of the National Regulatory Authority, Bounheuang Duangphachanh, said while the War had long since past, its remnants continued to exact a deadly toll particularly on the nation’s rural inhabitants.
An average of 300 people had been killed and countless more injured from accidents related to UXO in Laos each year from 1964 to 2008, he said.