The United States will spend $90 million to clear the unexploded bombs that it dropped on Laos during the Vietnam War. President Barack Obama said that the funds will be spent in removing the unexploded bombs, which were dropped during Vietnam War. Speaking at Lao National Cultural Hall in Vientiane on Tuesday, the U.S. President Barack Obama said that the money will be spent over the next three years.
U.S. pledges to solve issues
“The war had shattered lives of people in Laos. Thousands of people died or got injured over the years. We have increased the funding to remove the unexploded bombs. We do not want any further casualties," said Barack Obama. He is the first sitting U.S president to visit Vietnam and pledge more funding to settle the long-overdue issue..
According to CNN, President Obama is on tour to attend a series of Asian summit meetings focussing on security, terrorism, and other regional issues. He reached Laos late on Monday after attending a meeting in China. Obama said that he is in Vietnam with a spirit of reconciliation. “U.S. has a moral obligation to heal sufferings of Laos. The two nations should work united,” Obama said.
Laos President Bounnhang Vorach said that U.S. move will strengthen mutual trust between both the countries. Laos government will increase its assistance in locating Americans missing in the war, he added.
What is the issue?
Between 1964 and 1973, the U.S. dropped nearly 270 million bombs with an aim to block supplies to Vietnam and fight communist forces.
During the nine-year bombing, nearly 80 million bombs failed to detonate. The bombing left several killed or injured and piles of unexploded bombs are yet to be removed.
The U.S increased the funding to clear the undetonated bombs from $2.5 million to $15 million this year. Laos hailed the U.S. initiative. Head of the Handicap International Laos Mission, Kim Warren said that funding is important when it comes to helping the people who are suffering. "U.S. funding to clear the bombs is great news," he said. The mission provides aid in clearing unexploded bombs and help families who lost their loved ones. Every year, 50 people get killed while stumbling upon the unexploded bombs.