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U.S. Global Leadership in Landmine Clearance and Conventional Weapons Destruction
April 3, 2019

To Walk the Earth in Safety 18th Edition: U.S. Global Leadership in Landmine Clearance and Conventional Weapon

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
April 3, 2019

The United States is the world’s single largest financial supporter of efforts to address humanitarian hazards from landmines and unexploded ordnance in post-conflict countries and to reduce the availability of excess, loosely-secured, or otherwise at-risk weapons and munitions. Today’s release of the 18th edition of To Walk the Earth in Safety, the Department of State’s annual report summarizing the accomplishments of the U.S. Conventional Weapons Destruction Program, highlights our enduring commitment to making post-conflict communities safer and setting the stage for their recovery and development.

  • Since 1993, the United States has invested more than $3.4 billion for the securing and safe disposal of excess small arms, light weapons, and munitions as well as the safe clearance of landmines and explosive remnants of war in more than 100 countries, making the United States the world’s single largest financial supporter of conventional weapons destruction.
  • The United States has funded programs worldwide aimed at reducing at-risk weapons and munitions, and improving stockpile security in order to prevent diversion of arms to terrorists and other destabilizing actors.
  • Through the conventional weapons destruction program, the U.S. government has collaborated with partner nations and international organizations since 2003 to destroy more than 39,000 excess or poorly-secured man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADS), shoulder-fired missiles that, if improperly safeguarded, pose a serious threat to global aviation.
  • Working in close cooperation with the Department of Defense and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Leahy War Victims Fund, the Department of State has helped numerous countries to declare themselves mine-free.
  • Proactive community outreach through our Mine Risk Education programs have prevented countless injuries while U.S.-funded Survivor Assistance has provided essential medical and rehabilitation services to people injured by landmines and unexploded ordnance.