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 You are in: Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security > Bureau of Political-Military Affairs > Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Releases > Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Fact Sheets > 2003
Fact Sheet
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Humanitarian Demining Programs
Washington, DC
July 2, 2003

United States Humanitarian Demining Programs in Southeast Asia

The U.S. Governmentís Humanitarian Demining Program (HDP) seeks to relieve human suffering while promoting U.S. interests. The Programís objectives are to reduce civilian casualties; create conditions for the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes; reinforce an affected countryís 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.

  • The United States provides demining assistance to four mine-affected nations in Southeast Asia, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Since FY 1993, the United States has committed $86,147,000 for humanitarian mine action in Southeast Asia.
  • This funding has provided mine and UXO detectors, individual protective gear, vehicles, computer support, mine detection dogs (MDDs), training of manual demining teams, necessary support to build national mine action centers, landmine impact surveys, technical assistance, and medical care for landmine victims.
  • Mine awareness programs have been established in all four countries (including a very successful mine awareness program in Quang Tri province, Vietnam) through the implementation of mine awareness training courses and the distribution of many types of mine awareness materials.
  • U.S. Special Operation Forces have trained nearly 4,000 deminers, who have helped to destroy hundreds of thousands of landmines/UXO in Southeast Asia, including 1,200 deminers in Cambodia and 1,000 deminers in Laos.
  • Several hundred million square meters of land have been cleared through 2002, resulting in reduced casualty rates and millions of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) returning to their homes. The number includes approximately 122,000,000 square meters cleared in Cambodia, approximately 41,000,000 square meters cleared in Laos, and 6,500,000 square meters cleared in Thailand.
  • In FY 2000, the United States allocated $1.4 million of NADR [Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining, and Related Programs] funds to Vietnam in order to initiate a level-one survey, one of the most critical steps in establishing an effective humanitarian demining program.
  • A focus on casualty rates and assistance plans to victims has resulted in significant achievements in Southeast Asia. In Vietnam, more than 3,000 rehabilitated personnel have received training, and more than 52,000 people have been provided with mobility assistance. Over 2,400 villages in Laos received mine awareness visits. In Cambodia, between 1996 and 2001, the casuality rate reduced by nearly 70% and over 10,000 victims have been provided with mobility assistance.

Pie chart shows total U.S. humanitarian demining funding for FY 1993 to FY 2003; total spending for Asia is 11 percent; total spending for HDP is 89 percent

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