2015 To Walk the Earth in Safety: East Asia and Pacific
Beginning with World War II, landmines and UXO have deterred economic growth and diminished the quality of life in the East Asia and Pacific region, Southeast Asia in particular. Through the assistance of U.S. CWD programs and its implementing partners, communities can cultivate and use previously contaminated land and critical infrastructure, thereby enhancing economic opportunities and improving prospects for the future. Cambodia has one of the highest amputee ratios in the world with one amputee per 290 people. Laos is the world’s most heavily-bombed country per capita, and remaining UXO threaten Laos and Vietnam 40 years after the Vietnam War ended.
The Asia-Pacific region accounts for nearly a third of the earth’s population, more than one-quarter of global gross domestic product, a major and increasing share of global growth, and 26 percent of U.S. exports. As the United States continues rebalancing its efforts and investments toward Asia, it remains committed to helping its regional allies and partners overcome significant humanitarian and economic challenges, including the legacy of UXO from past conflicts.
Since 1997, the U.S. CWD program has provided more than $297 million in the East Asia and Pacific region for clearing legacy ordnance, providing mine risk education and victim assistance, building local capacity, and reducing SA/LW proliferation. This form of U.S. engagement signifies a long-term stake in the peace and prosperity of the East Asia and Pacific region.