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Canada Announces $3.4 Million to Help Reduce the Threat of Landmines in Kosovo, Cambodia, and Africa

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(99-74) News Release
Ottawa -- Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy and Canada's International Cooperation Minister, Maria Minna, today announced a $3.4 million contribution to help Kosovo, Cambodia, and regions of Africa to reduce the threat of landmines. This brings the Canadian International Development Agency's (CIDA) total commitment on mine action initiatives to $15 million this year, up from $9 million last year.

"The presence of mines, and especially the threat posed by unidentified mine fields is an enormous obstacle to development," said Minister Minna. "It's the children and women who suffer the most from these deadly and indiscriminate tools of war."

"Canada's efforts, less than a year after the Antipersonnel Mine Ban Convention's entry into force, have led to the adoption of a new global norm with respect to these weapons," said Mr. Axworthy. "We will continue to make a difference in the lives of people in mine-infested regions so that they too can have a chance to live with hope and without fear."

CIDA will provide $2 million to a Canadian organization, $400,000 to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), $500,000 to the World Health Organization (WHO), and another $500,000 to the UN Mine Action Service.

CIDA will provide $2 million for a Canadian organization that will work with the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) to undertake a survey of mine-affected areas within Cambodia. The survey will permit CMAC to target the most affected areas in order to reduce mine accidents. CIDA is currently in the process of identifying the appropriate Canadian organization.
CIDA is also providing $400,000 to CMAC through the UNDP, enabling CMAC to continue essential demining operations in identified mine-affected communities in Cambodia.

WHO will work in the following mine-affected countries in Africa: Angola, Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda. It will help these countries to develop better documentation of fatal and non-fatal landmine-related injuries as well as the circumstances in which these injuries occur to improve assistance to landmine victims. WHO will also work with the Ministries of Health in these countries to improve the emergency and post-emergency management of mine injuries, as well as the rehabilitation services available for landmine victims.

The UN Mine Action Service will assist the UN Mine Action Coordination Centre (UN MACC) in Kosovo. It will provide support to the centre's landmines database and minefield mapping facility, quality assurance and operations departments.
Funding for the initiatives announced today was provided for in the February 1999 federal budget and is therefore built into the existing fiscal framework.

Information:

Robin Walsh
Office of the Minister for International Cooperation
Telephone: 819 953-3160

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819 953-6534
E-Mail: info@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Debra Brown
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Telephone: 613 995-1851

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=A9 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 1999