Colombia ranks 3rd in world landmine victim list
Colombia has the third largest number of landmine victims in the world, said a UN report released on Wednesday. The report, titled "the Portfolio of Land Mine Action Projects 2006," said antipersonnel mines kill or maim about 15,000 to 20,000 people each year.
Of 30 countries and three territories included in the report, Afghanistan, the Russian Federation's republic of Chechnya and Colombia have the most mine victims.
Colombia is the only one of the three that has seen an increase of victims over the past five years, the report said.
Dermot Carty, land mines coordinator for the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, said that despite the large number of land mine injuries, the latest figures showed progress.
"Joint effort from the international community to clean up mined territory and show people how to avoid danger and destroy accumulated mines" has reduced the number of victims, Carty said.
He said UNICEF would need 442 million dollars to complete the 350 mine clearance projects listed in the UN report, adding that it had already received 51 million dollars so far.
The mine clearance projects include programs such as marking or clearing mined areas to prevent people from being harmed, and assisting the victims of mine explosions.
Colombian data indicates that there are antipersonnel mines in 30 of the South American country's 32 administrative departments.
Von: 23 November 2005, http://news.xinhuanet.com (www.chinaview.cn)