Thousands of communities across East Asia and the Pacific face dangers from landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) dating back to the Second World War, Vietnam War, and Indochina Wars. Numerous Pacific Island nations were the setting of battles between Japan and Allied forces in the 1940s. After World War II, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam endured warfare from the late 1940s until the early 1990s. Much of the contamination is of U.S. origin, from WWII-era explosives in the Pacific Islands to the thousands of cluster munitions in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam dropped during the Vietnam War. U.S. investments in clearance of landmines and UXO save lives, deepen diplomatic ties, and offer new economic opportunities.
Since 1993, the U.S. conventional weapons destruction (CWD) program has invested more than $738 million in the East Asia and Pacific regions for landmine and UXO clearance, explosive ordnance risk education, survivor assistance, and local capacity building so partners can manage their long-term UXO risks.
Through U.S. support, our implementing partners accomplished the following in 2021:
- 193,560,405 square meters (47,830 acres) of confirmed hazardous areas in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam were positively identified and marked to prevent casualties
- 101,706,102 square meters (25,132 acres) of land were released for safe and productive use in Cambodia, Laos, Palau, and Vietnam
- 2,526 anti-personnel mines and 51 anti-tank mines were destroyed in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam
- 96,015 items of UXO and abandoned ordnance were destroyed in Cambodia, Laos, Palau, and Vietnam
- 10,681 explosive ordnance disposal callouts were conducted in Cambodia, Laos, Palau, and Vietnam in response to urgent requests for suspected UXO to be investigated and rendered safe
- 6,783 pieces of small arms ammunition were destroyed in Vietnam
- 46.0 metric tons of excess munitions were destroyed in Cambodia
The United States is the world’s single largest financial supporter of efforts to clear landmines and explosive remnants of war. Since 1993, the United States has invested more than $4.2 billion in more than 100 countries around the world to reduce the harmful worldwide effects of at-risk, illicitly proliferated, and indiscriminately used conventional weapons of war. For more information on U.S. humanitarian demining and CWD programs, see the latest edition of our annual report, To Walk the Earth in Safety.
For additional information or to request a printed copy of To Walk the Earth in Safety, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, at email@example.com, and follow us on Twitter @StateDeptPM. The report is also available on the Department of State website at https://www.state.gov/to-walk-the-earth-in-safety/.