The Department of State has released the 11th edition of To Walk the Earth in Safety, a report showcasing the accomplishments of the U.S. Conventional Weapons Destruction Program. The report outlines the world’s largest effort to help countries save lives, as well as support post-conflict recovery and development by safely clearing landmines and unexploded munitions, and reducing excess inventories of arms and munitions.
In fiscal year 2011, the Department of State invested $142 million in 42 countries for Conventional Weapons Destruction. This included funding for clearance operations, assistance to conflict survivors, education for communities to prevent injuries from unexploded ordnance, and weapons destruction. The report highlights our ongoing support to dozens of public and private implementing partners who continue to apply new energy, ideas, and resources to this important humanitarian endeavor. Success stories highlighted in this year’s report include Burundi, where U.S. contributions allowed the country to finally become “mine-impact free;” Burma, which initiated its first-ever U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action project inside the country; and Jordan, where U.S. support helped it to become the first country in the Middle East free of minefields.
The United States is the world’s single largest financial supporter of conventional weapons destruction. Since 1993, the Department of State has partnered with the Department of Defense, USAID’s Leahy War Victims Fund, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote peace and security by delivering more than $2 billion in more than 90 countries. This partnership has helped countries safely dispose of over 1.6 million excess small arms and light weapons, over 90,000 tons of munitions, and nearly 33,000 excess or poorly-secured man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS), shoulder-fired missiles that in the wrong hands could pose a serious potential threat to global aviation.
To Walk the Earth in Safety is available online, along with an archive of past editions. Single printed copies of To Walk the Earth in Safety are also available free of charge by sending an e-mail with your name and full mailing address, including postal or ZIP code, to DowleyKA@state.gov. For more information on U.S. Conventional Weapons Destruction, visit www.state.gov/t/pm/wra.