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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2001 > November
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 30, 2001


U.S. Efforts Sustain Progress In Humanitarian Mine Action

The United States Humanitarian Demining Program addresses the worldwide landmine problem by supporting mine action initiatives in 38 countries, the Province of Kosovo, and Northwest Somalia. Our hope is to mitigate the threat of landmines to affected populations. Our progress is reported in the third edition of To Walk the Earth in Safety: The United States Commitment to Humanitarian Demining.

Programs for mine awareness, deminer training, mine clearance, and survivor assistance have turned what was the landmine crisis into what is now termed the landmine problem, a clear indication of progress accomplished over the past few years. Many country programs show evidence of the progress being made. In addition to Moldova, which declared itself mine-safe in March 2001, several other countries are expected to declare themselves mine-safe in 2002 and 2003. For example, in Kosovo mine awareness provided by UNICEF reached thousands of people; in Yemen a Level One Survey identified locations of landmines and allowed suspected minefields to be returned to productive use; and in Angola USAIDís Patrick J. Leahy War Victims Fund signed a new agreement with the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation to provide orthopedic services to an additional 3,000 landmine survivors.

Progress also is evident in the significant reduction of the number of landmine casualties, as documented in "Hidden Killers," the final appendix in To Walk the Earth in Safety. Fewer than 10,000 landmine casualties were reported in 2001, a drastic decrease in comparison to the previously accepted figure of 26,000 estimated casualties each year. The number of landmines implanted in the ground is now estimated at 45-50 million, another dramatic drop from previous estimates of 60-70 million.

To Walk the Earth in Safety provides historical descriptions of the landmine problem in affected areas, describes the nature of U.S. assistance to a particular country, and highlights notable accomplishments. Appendices of To Walk the Earth in Safety also detail related topics such as mine action components, mine detection dogs, the Quick Reaction Demining Force, the Department of Defenseís Research and Development Program for Humanitarian Demining Technology, and the Slovenian International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance.

Copies of To Walk the Earth in Safety are available from the Department of State, Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs (PM/HDP), Room 3328, Washington, D.C. 20520.


Released on November 30, 2001

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