VIENTIANE, April 4 (Xinhua) -- The number of unexploded ordinance (UXO) victims in Laos declined from 300 in 2008 to 50 in 2016, the Lao News Agency (KPL) reported Tuesday.
It is a great contribution to socio-economic development of the Lao government and the efforts of the UN millennium goals, Lao Minister of Labor and Social Welfare Khampheng Saysompheng said at the commemoration ceremony of the International Day of Mine Awareness here on Tuesday.
"All above-mentioned achievements came from over the past two decades of efforts to solve UXO problems. As a result, more than 60,000 hectares have been cleared and freed of UXOs," Khampheng said, adding that almost two million UXOs have been destroyed.
More than 3,000 UXO victims reportedly survived, thanks to medical team assistance, said the KPL. In 2016, over 95,000 UXOs were cleared from an additional 3,400 hectares of land.
Laos is deemed the worst UXO-affected country in the world with UXOs scattered over one third of the country, according to a 1996 survey by Handicap International.
From 1964 to 1973, the United States dropped over two million tons of ordance on Laos in 580,000 bombing missions.
At least 270 million cluster bomblets were dropped as part of the bombing campaign. Approximately 80 million failed to detonate. Enditem