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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

The United States Celebrates Central America Freeing Itself From Impact of Landmines


Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
July 6, 2010

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The United States welcomes and commends Nicaragua’s successful completion of its humanitarian mine action program. On June 18, Nicaragua declared itself free from the most pressing and hazardous impacts from landmines and unexploded ordnance. We are proud to have supported Nicaragua’s success, as well as similar programs in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras with more than $31 million in aid that has helped Central America become the first region in the world to become “impact free” from these hidden hazards.

The U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action Program – an interagency partnership among the Department of State, Department of Defense, Agency for International Development, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – assisted Nicaragua and its neighbors in Central America to develop indigenous capacity to eradicate the threat posed by landmines. Working closely with the Organization of American States and several partner organizations, the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action Program supported clearance operations, mine risk education programs to inform local communities about potential dangers, as well as essential technical support, training, and equipment.

While it is impossible to completely remove every single landmine or piece of unexploded ordnance, countries can become “impact free” once all explosives have been safely cleared from areas that pose an immediate threat to people and their access to their homes, water, agricultural land or key infrastructure. Other recipients of mine action assistance from the United States that subsequently were able to declare themselves free from the humanitarian impact of landmines include Albania, Djibouti, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Namibia, and Suriname.

The United States is the world’s leading provider of financial and technical assistance for humanitarian mine action. Since 1993, the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action Program has invested more than $1.5 billion in mine action worldwide in nearly 50 countries, contributing toward a dramatic global reduction in casualties from landmines and other explosive remnants of war. To learn more, visit www.state.gov/t/pm/wra.



PRN: 2010/894



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