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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) > 2002 > April
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 10, 2002


Mine Action Efforts in Afghanistan

Since 1993, the United States has provided over $35 million to support humanitarian mine action efforts in Afghanistan. In FY 2001, the U.S., through the State Department's Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs, allocated $2.8 million to sustain such mine action activities in Afghanistan as mine awareness and demining training, and mine detection and clearance operations.

In FY 2002, the United States will help Afghanistan meet its most pressing mine action needs with an allocation of $7 million to support various mine action activities. Key elements of the U.S. assistance program, as funded by the Department of State, include:

  1. A direct grant totaling $3.2 million allocated to HALO Trust, a U.S. registered/UK based non-governmental (NGO) mine clearance organization. With these funds, HALO Trust has hired, trained, equipped, and employed approximately 800 additional mine clearance and logistics personnel, bringing HALO's total in Afghanistan to nearly 2,000 personnel. Priority clearance sites include roads, key infrastructures, residential areas, and other areas used by agencies conducting humanitarian operations.
  2. Approximately $3.1 million will continue to support salaries and expenses for RONCO's (a U.S. commercial demining organization) cadre of 13 personnel in Afghanistan. Technical advisors assigned to each of five regional offices train Afghan mine clearance personnel and field managers on the removal of landmines and unexploded ordnance. These funds will provide major equipment necessary to support a restart of clearance operations by the local Afghan NGOs, including trucks and ambulances, radios, mine detectors, and personal blast protection equipment.
  3. Approximately $700,000 will fund mine risk education initiatives carried out via a grant to UNICEF and using Save the Children, a U.S. NGO, as its implementing partner. Save the Children will subcontract with several local Afghan NGOs to disseminate mine awareness messages to the local population through radio-based campaigns, school curricula, and other awareness activities and materials.

In addition to the Department of State's contribution, the Center for Disease Control has allocated $800,000 to support a survivor's assistance initiative in Afghanistan this year.


Released on April 10, 2002

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