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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
August 11, 2008


Department of State Supports Rotary Club Project To Assist Amputees in Basra, Iraq

The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs has awarded $1.5 million to the Rotary Club’s “Basra, Iraq Prosthetics Project.” The project was created to help restore mobility and dignity to approximately 5,000 amputees in the Basra area who were injured by landmines and explosive remnants of war due to various conflicts dating back to the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s.

The Basra Project (www.basraproject.com/), in conjunction with the Al Hussein Society in Amman, Jordan, will train experienced Iraqi prosthetists from the Basra, Iraq Prosthetic Centre on new technology delivered by the Project to Amman. The prosthetists will return to Basra to treat their injured fellow citizens on an additional suite of advanced equipment to be delivered to Iraq in the near future.

This effort is being led by Montgomery Village Rotary Club member Linda A.H. Smythe (who initiated the project), Ted Hamady and Marlene Thorn from the Rotary Club of Washington, D.C., and members from the Amman Cosmopolitan Rotary Club. These generous Rotarians have spent considerable time raising funds, conducting a national prosthetic limb drive, and donating their time and expertise to ensure the project’s success.

This project has also been supplied with in-kind and direct funding totaling $825,000 from the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Rotary Clubs in the United States and abroad, Rotary International, and the International Monetary Fund. In addition, contributions and assistance have been received from Hangar Orthopedic Group, Inc., HRH Princess Majda Raad of Jordan, the Mosaic Foundation, the Al Hussein Society of Amman, Jordan, Suburban Hospital of Bethesda, Maryland, Airschott Inc., and others.

The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement manages humanitarian mine action programs (clearance of landmines and explosive remnants of war, survivors assistance, mine risk education), and conventional weapons destruction programs worldwide. To learn more visit www.state.gov/t/pm/wra/.

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Released on August 11, 2008

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