The United States is the world’s single largest financial supporter of global conventional weapons destruction efforts, which promote international peace and security by addressing humanitarian hazards from landmines and unexploded ordnance in post-conflict countries. We also partner with nations worldwide to reduce the availability of excess, loosely-secured, or otherwise at-risk small arms and light weapons and munitions.
Today’s release of the 20th edition of To Walk the Earth in Safety, the Department of State’s annual report summarizing the accomplishments of the U.S. Conventional Weapons Destruction Program, highlights the United States’ enduring commitment to making post-conflict communities safer and setting the stage for their recovery and development.
- Since 1993, the United States has invested more than $4.0 billion for the safe clearance of landmines and explosive weapons of war as well as the securing and safe disposal of excess small arms, light weapons, and munitions in more than 100 countries, making the United States the world’s single largest financial supporter of conventional weapons destruction. In 2020, the United States funded conventional weapons destruction efforts in 49 countries with more than $259 million.
- The United States has funded stockpile management programs worldwide aimed at reducing at-risk weapons and munitions and improving stockpile security in order to prevent diversion of arms to terrorists and other destabilizing actors.
- Through the conventional weapons destruction program, the U.S. Government has collaborated with partner nations and international organizations to destroy more than 39,000 excess or poorly-secured man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS), shoulder-fired missiles that, if improperly safeguarded, pose a serious threat to global civil aviation.
- The Program’s Quick Reaction Force (QRF) has the flexibility to assist countries on an emergency, first responder basis, both to prevent a catastrophic explosive event at an arms and ammunition depot and manage the aftereffects of such an explosion.
- Proactive community outreach through our Explosive Ordnance Risk Education programs prevented countless injuries while U.S.-funded Survivor Assistance provided essential medical and rehabilitation services to people injured by landmines and unexploded ordnance.
- Working in close cooperation with the Department of Defense and the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of State has helped numerous countries to declare themselves mine free.
For additional information or to request a printed copy of To Walk the Earth in Safety, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow us on Twitter @StateDeptPM. The report is also available on the Department of State website at https://www.state.gov/to-walk-the-earth-in-safety/.