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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 16, 1996


U.S. Demining Program

The United States Demining Program currently involves 14 countries, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, and is designed to assist the governments of these countries to address the problem of uncleared landmines. The goal of the program is to establish indigenous, sustainable mine clearance and mine awareness training programs for countries suffering from the adverse effects of landmines.

The USG Demining Program concept calls for assisting the host country with development of various aspects of mine awareness and mine clearance operations short of physically removing mines and to develop a national indigenous demining capacity. The U.S. Government has developed the program in three general areas:

Demining Training Programs: This USG Government program is to train the trainers, including equipping the host nations to sustain their own demining programs. The State and Defense Departments coordinate the funding and priorities to meet the demining needs of each individual nation. For Fiscal Year 1996, the total USG funding level, including in-kind contributions, was approximately $32 million from State, DOD and AID and was programmed for the 13 countries shown in the attached Program Funds List. The 14th country assisted is Bosnia, with $8.5 million to develop a Mine Action Center for coordination of demining programs.

Mine Awareness: The USG program is designed to work with host governments, NGOs and international organizations to educate local populations about the dangers of landmines. Returning refugee populations and other displaced people suffer from mine detonations, and we are implementing information campaigns aimed at specific audiences. Each demining program currently funded has a mine awareness program element associated with it.

Research and Development: The USG funding level for R&D in Fiscal Year 1996 was $3 million and is projected to be $7.7 million in Fiscal Year 1997. Over 100 new technologies were tested in the last year, of which 30 were selected for further development.

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