The United States is committed to supporting Colombia as it develops and expands its demining capabilities, as well as medical and rehabilitation services and mine risk education for communities facing continued dangers from the indiscriminate use of landmines by terrorist groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). This commitment is reflected in our decision to observe the Second Review Conference of the Ottawa Convention in Cartagena, Colombia, November 30-December 4, 2009.
Since 2005, the U.S. Government has provided $8.5 million to aid efforts by the Colombian Government’s Presidential Program for Comprehensive Action Against Anti-personnel Mines and Colombian nongovernmental organizations. The United States has been Colombia’s leading financial contributor since 2007, and plans to deliver an additional $2 million in support in 2010.
In June 2009, the United States co-sponsored the Colombia Humanitarian Demining Planning Workshop in Bogota to help Colombian military and civilian agencies develop a new strategic plan for humanitarian mine action. Also in 2009, the United States partnered with the Organization of American States to provide $840,000 toward equipment, training and logistical support for three of six emergency response teams conducting humanitarian mine clearance.
At the community level, the United States partnered with Colombian non-governmental organizations, granting $300,000 to Centro Integral de Rehabilitacion de Colombia’s (CIREC) “Seeds of Hope” program for survivors’ assistance and $200,000 to Colombia Campaign to Ban Landmines (CCBL) for mine risk education. Other beneficiaries included The Polus Center, which supports Colombian coffee farmers affected by landmines, as well as the Information Management and Mine Action Program.
In addition, in 2009 the U.S. Agency for International Development awarded a $3.8 million grant to Mercy Corps for a three-year program to support rehabilitation for Colombian landmine survivors, while the U.S. Southern Command has provided $470,000 in training, equipment, and medical supplies since 2007.
The United States is a world leader in humanitarian mine action, providing more than $1.5 billion since 1993 toward landmine clearance and conventional weapons destruction in nearly 50 countries. To learn more about the State Department’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement's humanitarian mine action and conventional weapons destruction programs, visit www.state.gov/t/pm/wra