The U.S. Congress approved an omnibus funding legistlation Saturday which includes $2.5 million targeted by Minnesota Congresswoman Betty McCollum for removal of unexploded ordnance(UXO's) dropped by U.S. war planes in Laos during the Vietnam war.
The increase nearly doubles the previous aid amount of $1.4 million.
U.S. war planes relentlessly dropped over two million tons of bombs on Laos from 1964 to 1973, double the amount dropped on Europe during World Was II. Up to 30 percent of this ordnace failed to explode during the war and continue to kill and maim hundreds of people each year.
Congresswoman Betty McCollum also secured $19 million in the omnibus bill for federal funding to assist local agencies and communities in the resettlement of Hmong refugees from Wat Tham Krabok, Thailand, and Somali refugees.
She says "the U.S. has a moral obligation to partner with the people of Laos to help eleminate the ordnance and put the land back into productive use for this impoverished nation."
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