Office of the Spokesman
May 11, 2010
Slovenia: United States Supports Humanitarian Demining Efforts with New $12 Million Grant
The United States is proud to partner with Slovenia and its International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance (ITF) to reduce threats to post-conflict communities from landmines and unexploded munitions, and announces $12 million in new support through the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs’ Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement.
The grant, announced on May 11 in Ljubljana by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs Thomas J. Masiello, will provide dollar-for-dollar matching grants to other public and private donors’ contributions, effectively doubling International Trust Fund funding for mine clearance, survivor assistance, mine-risk education, and related programs in the Balkans. Since 1998, the United States has provided more than $138 million to the International Trust Fund to help safely clear more than 92 million square meters of land and provide services to more than 1,000 individuals through this unique funding mechanism.
“Through ITF, Slovenia plays a special role as a steward of the international community’s efforts and donations for mine action in the region,” Masiello said. “We are pleased to contribute and, through our matching funds, encourage others to do so as well.”
The International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victims Assistance is a non-profit, humanitarian organization founded by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia in March 1998. Originally aimed at supporting post-conflict recovery in Bosnia and Herzegovina, ITF rapidly expanded operations into other countries in the region facing dangers from landmines and unexploded munitions, including Albania, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. The United States also partnered with ITF, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the Israeli Government to provide medical evaluation and treatment for children from Gaza injured by landmines and explosive remnants of war during the winter 2008 – 2009 conflict.
The United States is the world’s single largest financial supporter of humanitarian mine action. Since 1993, the United States has partnered with 63 partner organizations like the International Trust Fund to deliver more than $1.5 billion toward landmine clearance and conventional weapons destruction in 47 countries. For more information, please visit the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement at http://www.state.gov/t/pm/wra/