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The United States is a world leader in humanitarian mine action, having provided more than $1.5 billion since 1993 to mitigate the threat from landmines and explosive remnants of war in nearly 50 countries.
As such, the U.S. has sent an interagency delegation of humanitarian mine action experts to observe the Second Review Conference of the 1997 "Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction."
Although not a State Party to this convention, the U.S. shares common cause with all who seek to protect innocent civilians from indiscriminately-used landmines and considers participation in this conference an opportunity to engage on the future of mine action.
The U.S. continues to provide mine action assistance to many countries, including Afghanistan, where landmines affect almost every province. On average, nearly 40 people a month are injured or killed by landmines and unexploded ordnance in Afghanistan. Since 1993, the U.S. has provided more than $180 million for humanitarian mine action in Afghanistan. Over the last 20 years, more than 1,500 square kilometers of land have been cleared.
In Angola, 40 years of conflict have left behind a deadly legacy of abandoned landmines and unexploded munitions. In 2009, $5.8 million in U.S. Humanitarian Mine Action aid helped Angola clear over 1 million square meters of land of landmines and unexploded munitions. Since 1995, the U.S. has contributed nearly $70 million to help in the removal of landmines and destruction of excess munitions and unexploded ordnance in Angola.
Three decades of war have left Cambodia severely affected by landmines and explosive-renmants of war. Assistance from the U.S. and other donors has significantly reduced the annual casualty rate. In 2009, the U.S. State Department's Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement allotted more than $5.7 million for humanitarian mine and unexploded ordnance action in Cambodia.
The United States is committed to mitigating the threat from landmines and explosive remnants of war wherever they occur.