U.S. CONTRIBUTES A MAJOR BOOST FOR OAS EMERGENCY DE-MINING OPERATIONS IN COLOMBIA


United States government has given a major boost to the Organization of American States' Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines program (AICMA, for its Spanish acronym), through a contribution of more than $715,000 for emergency humanitarian demining operations in Colombia.


(09.03.2008)

(Media-Newswire.com) - United States government has given a major boost to the Organization of American States' Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines program ( AICMA, for its Spanish acronym ), through a contribution of more than $715,000 for emergency humanitarian demining operations in Colombia.

The US contributions totaling $715,485 for 2008-and disbursed through the State Department's Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement-will help provide support for national capacity-building in humanitarian de-mining operations, training, and mine-risk education.

Colombia's need for emergency humanitarian mine-clearing operations stems from its more than 40-year old internal conflict that has left 31 of Colombia's 32 departments contaminated by anti-personnel landmines. Current records indicate there are 6,674 victims to date-more than one-third of whom are children, according to the National Authority.

The OAS program has supported mine action activities throughout the Americas since 1991, and has seen the completion of projects in Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, and Suriname. With respect to Colombia, the OAS-AICMA program has provided support to the government through the Presidential Program for Mine Action ( PPAICMA ) since 2003.

OAS support to Colombian mine action activities has included the training of military minesweepers, leaders, and supervisors; establishment of a monitor group to ensure international standards; and implementation of projects for victim rehabilitation, vocational training, and social reintegration, among others.

In making the contribution, the U.S. government said its commitment to assist countries in "relieving human suffering" is reflected in its support to OAS mine action activities since the AICMA program's inception in 1992.

Von: http://media-newswire.com, 10.03.2008

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