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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

The United States is a World Leader in Humanitarian Mine Action


Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 30, 2009

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The United States shares common cause with nations who are working to address the harmful effects of indiscriminately used landmines on civilians. We are proud to be a world leader in humanitarian mine action, having provided more than $1.5 billion since 1993 to mitigate the threat from landmines and explosive remnants of war in nearly 50 countries.
U.S. involvement in humanitarian demining began in 1988 in Afghanistan, and expanded with the establishment of the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action Program in 1993. This partnership among the Department of State, Department of Defense, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made a significant contribution toward reducing the annual landmine casualty rate from an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 just ten years ago to approximately 5,000 today.
Over the years, United States assistance has comprised as much as one-quarter of annual global aid dedicated to humanitarian mine action. U.S. funding helps affected nations and more than 60 partner organizations with land surveys and safe clearance of mines and explosive remnants of war; mine risk education; survivors’ assistance; research and development of new technologies; and training foreign demining personnel.
With help from the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action Program a number of countries have become free from the humanitarian impact of landmines: Costa Rica, Djibouti, Guatemala, Honduras, Kosovo, Macedonia, Namibia, Rwanda, and Suriname. The United States continues to provide mine action assistance to many countries around the world to help them develop their own demining capabilities. Current and future priorities for the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action program include Afghanistan, Bosnia, Colombia, Iraq, Laos and Vietnam.
The United States is a party to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), including the Amended Protocol II (landmines) and Protocol V (explosive remnants of war). Additionally, United States has not exported anti-personnel landmines since 1992; has ended the use of its non-detectable mines; will not use any persistent (non-self-destructing/self-deactivating) landmines, either anti-personnel or anti-vehicle, anywhere in the world after 2010; and continues to research and develop non-persistent (self-destructing/self-deactivating) landmines that do not pose a humanitarian threat after use in battle.
Learn more about United States mine action at www.state.gov/t/pm/wra; www.humanitarian-demining.org/; and www.usaid.gov/our_work/humanitarian_assistance/the_funds/lwvf/.



PRN: 2009/1188



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