Children look at a sign warning of landmine dangers
This year we celebrate a milestone: 20 years of a U.S.-led, multi-agency effort to safely clear landmines and other unexploded ordnance, as well as to safely dispose of excess, unsecured, or at-risk weapons and munitions. Since the program’s inception in 1993, the United States has delivered more than $2 billion in aid in over 90 countries, making us the world’s single largest financial supporter of Conventional Weapons Destruction programs worldwide. Today’s release of the 12th Edition of our annual report on these efforts, To Walk the Earth in Safety, commemorates this investment in international peace and security.
This effort began with the establishment of the U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action program in 1993. From this original focus on making the world safer by assisting communities and nations to overcome threats from landmines and explosive remnants of war, we expanded the program in 2001 to include activities to address the threat from at-risk conventional weapons and munitions, including Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS).
Our funding supports not only survey and clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance, but also medical rehabilitation and vocational training for those injured by these devices; community outreach to prevent further injuries and essential investments in research and development of new life-saving technologies. Taken together, these efforts can make post-conflict communities safer and set the stage for recovery and development. Our efforts have assisted 15 countries around the world to become free of the humanitarian impact of landmines and have helped to dramatically reduce the world’s annual landmine casualty rate.
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