The European Commission has mobilised €200 000 in emergency relief for the families most affected by the collapse of a section of the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy hydropower dam in southern Lao PDR. Heavy rainfall in the country over the past few days resulted in high river and dam levels. On the evening of 23 July, an incident at the dam in Attapeu province resulted in flash flooding which took the lives of 19 people, with over 130 still missing.
"The European Union will support the International Federation of the Red Cross in delivering vital assistance to those most affected by the tragedy. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims, as well as the brave first responders, the emergency services and the volunteers on the ground who are working tirelessly to help people in need," said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.
The EU support will address the most urgent needs of the affected families, by providing shelter assistance, hygiene kits, housing repair kits, and drinking water. The EU funding is being made available via the European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) via its small scale respond fund.
This is the largest flooding the country has witnessed in the past ten years. According to UN estimates, the flooding has affected over 11,000 people and left more than 3,000 displaced. Severe damage also occurred to properties and infrastructures including roads, schools, hospitals, irrigation systems and agricultural fields. The Government of Lao PDR has declared the affected areas as National Disaster Area.