|Volume 11, Issue 1||Interchange||April 2001|
UN FAO Flood Aid to Laos
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is providing urgent aid of rice and vegetable seeds to some 8,000 rural families in Laos that had been hit by typhoons and floods last year.
Floods, generated by typhoons last August and then again last September, severely hit rural areas in seven central and southern provinces in Laos. A total of 70,000 households were affected, up to 42,530 hectares of paddy crops destroyed, and the overall economic loss is officially estimated at about $14 million.
The project will cost some $400,000 and will be implemented through the Lao government in close collaboration with other international organizations such as World Food Program and Red Cross.
US DonatesVehicles and Equipment to UXO Lao
At an official hand over ceremony on January 31, US Embassy Charge d' Affaires Karen Stewart donated over $1.5 million dollars worth of vehicles and demining equipment as part of the US Government's support of the Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Program. At the ceremony, held at UXO Lao's National Training Center in Ban Ilai, Vice Minister of Labor and Social Welfare Khamphay Ratsamy accepted the donation on behalf of UXO Lao.
Included in the hand over were 18 Toyota Land Cruisers, 5 Toyota pick-up trucks, 16 Yamaha motorcycles, 44 generators, mobile radio equipment, and mine detectors. The vehicles and equipment will be sent to the provinces in which UXO Lao is working to support the organization's clearance and awareness teams.
Since 1996, the US government has supported the UXO Lao program with a commitment of approximately $15 million in assistance for the training of UXO clearance teams and other specialists, and for in-kind equipment donations.
Lao Deputy Prime Minister (continued from cover)
The Minister also cited mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation with the US government on MIA searches and drug control. He expressed concern that, "a few members of the US Congress have not appreciated the bilateral cooperation and the internal situation of our underdeveloped country [and] have placed obstacles for furthering bilateral relations, which is deteriorating the situation."
He concluded, "based on INGOs direct experience and knowledge about our country, your organizations can speak honestly and forthrighly to members of the US government and Congress. In this way, we hope the American NGOs can continue efforts to improve peaceful and fruitful bilateral relations."
The 10th conference of the Forum will bring together some 350 representatives of North American, European, Australian and Asian INGOs, universities, foundations, businesses, and multi-lateral and bilateral donors with programs in Indochina for working discussions with representatives of government ministries, mass organizations, professional associations, and domestic NGOs from the three host countries.
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