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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 14, 2008


U.S. Department of State Partners with Sudanese Integrated Mine Action Service

The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs(PM/WRA)recently awarded a $200,200 grant tothe Sudanese Integrated Mine Action Service (SIMAS) for humanitarian mine action and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) training in Southern Sudan. SIMAS is the only national non-governmental organization (NGO) in South Sudan to be accredited by the United Nations Mine Action Office (UNMAO) for mine and battle area clearance. This is the first time PM/WRA has directly funded a Sudanese NGO.

Founded in 1999, SIMAS seeks to build local capacity for sustainable and integrated mine action and enable reconstruction and development in South Sudan. Since its inception, SIMAS has increased its managerial and operational capacities through formal training courses made possible by partnerships with international experts, other accredited organizations and donor governments around the world. Although much of its managerial and logistic support is currently provided by the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD), SIMAS plans to transition to full national ownership.

SIMAS joins PM/WRA’s portfolio of distinguished implementing partners for conventional weapons destruction in Sudan. In Fiscal Year 2008, the Department of State contributed more than $4 million to conventional weapons destruction efforts there through a variety of implementing partners, including Mines Advisory Group, the United Nations Development Programme, Norwegian People’s Aid, Danish Church Aid, and Cranfield University.

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

2008/874

Released on October 14, 2008

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