Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Legacies of War Meets With Betty McCollum

Legacies of War executive director Channapha Khamvongsa met with Minnesota Representative Betty McCollum this week. Representative McCollum has the distinction of being one of the few current members of Congress who has actually gone to Laos.

Representative McCollum has an outstanding record on supporting UXO clearance in the countryside of Laos. She's also due a big congratulations. She's served since 2001 so this year marks 10 years since she began her office.

Today, Representative McCollum is a Senior Whip, Co-founder of the Congressional Global Health Caucus, and Co-founder of the Quality Care Coalition. She also serves on the National Council on the Arts, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (Associate Member), Congressional Caucus on Global Road Safety and the International Conservation Caucus.

There are many issues regarding Laos that continue to need support.

Among the top priority issues should be clearance of unexploded ordnance from the Southeast Asian conflicts. In Laos, over 30% of the countryside remains contaminated with bombs, and this greatly impedes reconstruction and development efforts, even as we approach 40 years since the end of the war. These weapons have devastating effects on cities, villages and families. Hopefully these issues will be addressed in the upcoming weeks in Congress.

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