U.S. Funding for UXO Sector in Laos: Legacies of War FAQ – June 2011

How much has the U.S. historically spent on the UXO sector in Laos?

U.S. assistance to the UXO sector in Laos began in 1993 via the USAID Leahy War Victims Fund. The State Department began a larger program in 1996-97. According to the Department, since 1993, the U.S. has provided a total of more than $51 million in UXO-related assistance to Laos.

What is the mechanism for U.S. funding for the UXO sector in Laos?

Funding for the UXO sector in Laos comes primarily from the State Department’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement Program (WRA). Each year, the U.S. Congress allocates funding for WRA as part of the Non-proliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining, and Related Programs (NADR) portion of the Foreign Operations appropriation. The UXO section of the NADR budget provides specific funds for Laos, as well as a global fund which the WRA can allocate to any affected region.

How much did the U.S. spend on the UXO sector in Laos in 2010?

For fiscal year 2010, Congress specified that no less than $5 million be spent on the UXO sector in Laos. WRA was then able to add $100,000 from its global fund, bringing total funding for Laos to $5.1 million, the largest-ever annual allocation for the UXO sector in Laos.

What portion of overall U.S. aid to Laos does funding for the UXO sector represent?

In fiscal year 2010, the State Department spent a total of $7 million on aid to Laos. However, other U.S. departments also allocate aid to Laos. The State Department estimates that Laos received a total of $18M in assistance in 2008; this additional assistance comes from other accounts such as those for HIV/AIDS and bird flu.

Therefore, the 2010 level of $5.1 million for the UXO sector in Laos represents just over a quarter of overall annual U.S. aid to Laos.

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