Humanitarian demining crises, either man-made or the result of natural disasters, may arise without warning, requiring an immediate response. Until recently, the landmine community did not have this capability. Examples of such crises include Hurricane Mitch, which struck Central America in 1998, the rapid, post air-war return of refugees to mine-infested Kosovo in 1999, and Tropical Cyclones Hudah and Eline that ravaged Mozambique in 2000, displacing thousands of landmines. In order to respond to such emergency situations quickly and efficiently, the United States has developed a Quick Reaction Demining Force (QRDF).
The United States is currently negotiating with the Government of the Republic of Mozambique (GRM) to establish the QRDF's home base in Maputo. The QRDF would be deployed to demining crisis situations as directed by the United States Government, which will also oversee recruitment, provision of equipment, training, and supervision of QRDF personnel, both within and outside the Republic of Mozambique. When QRDF units are not deployed by the United States elsewhere, they will perform demining missions within Mozambique, as requested by the GRM.
Upon the successful conclusion of negotiations, the United States will establish an independent management unit in Maputo to manage QRDF operations in coordination with Mozambican authorities.