Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs
July 2, 2003
United States Humanitarian Demining Programs in Africa
The U.S. Government’s Humanitarian Demining Program (HDP) seeks to relieve human suffering while promoting U.S. interests. The Program’s objectives are to reduce civilian casualties; create conditions for the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes; reinforce an affected country’s stability; and encourage international cooperation and participation. The Program seeks to accomplish these objectives by supporting a wide range of mine action initiatives including mine risk education (MRE); training and equipping indigenous personnel; landmine survey; and mine/unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance operations in mine-affected nations. Since FY 1993, the United States has committed over $700 million to global mine action initiatives, including research and development.
- Among the nations of Africa, over two dozen are considered landmine/UXO-affected. The United States has provided, or is currently providing, humanitarian mine action assistance to 19 of these countries: Angola, Chad, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Northwest Somalia, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
- Since FY 1993, total U.S. spending on humanitarian mine action assistance in Africa has been approximately $141,124,000 (see chart). The majority of funding was provided by the Department of State. Other funding was provided by the Department of Defense, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Centers for Disease Control.
- In FY 2003, the Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs is funding the following countries: Angola, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, and Zambia.
- Mine awareness training and materials, such as various media/sign postings, have helped to reduce landmine casualties.
- U.S. Department of Defense personnel have trained a minimum of 1,700 deminers and medical technicians in at least 10 countries.
- Hundreds of thousands of landmines/UXO have been destroyed in Africa.
- Deminers have cleared millions of sq. m of land and thousands of km of roadway, enabling hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to return to their homes.
- The United States has conducted or assessed implementation of mine-detection dog (MDD) programs in several African countries, including Eritrea, Rwanda, and Mozambique.
- USAID has assisted several African countries by providing funding and training for prostheses services to fit over 7,000 amputees with prosthetic devices.
- Since FY 2000, the Department of State has provided an emergency medical air evacuation capability in Chad from remote field operations to the capital city, the location of the only hospital in the country capable of performing life-saving surgery.
- Namibia, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe have reached the sustainment phase in their humanitarian demining programs, the capability to conduct their own programs either independently or with minimum outside assistance.
- The Djibouti humanitarian demining program was initiated in February 2001 and the U.S. Government has provided over $2.7 million to the program. Djibouti should be able to declare itself “mine safe” by the end of 2003.
- The Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs is currently planning to significantly reduce funding to nine African countries in the next two years due to those countries reaching “mine safe” status or sustainment.