U.S. assists flood victims after Laos dam collapse

Around 65 times a year, disaster experts from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) rush to assist countries around the world in need of help due to floods, earthquakes or other natural calamities. In July, they headed to Laos.

Following severe rains, a hydroelectric dam partially collapsed in southeastern Laos’ Attapeu Province on July 23, flooding villages below. Thousands of people lost their homes, and an estimated 27 people lost their lives.

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“We’ve been to the evacuation centers and have been conducting assessments in the most affected areas,” said Al Dwyer from USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance.

USAID is working with the United Nations Children’s Fund to rehabilitate water points and latrines and to provide water containers and purification tablets, along with hygiene kits, to prevent the spread of disease.

“Our support to water and sanitation assistance is exactly what’s needed to get people back on their feet,” said Dwyer.