Colombia

Italy contributes 112,000 Euros to OAS Mine Action Program

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Through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Italy recently authorized two financial contributions for 166,300 US dollars (112,000 Euros) to the Organization of American States' (OAS) Mine Action assistance program, known as AICMA.

Italy's contributions enable the humanitarian program to continue carrying out assistance projects in Peru, Nicaragua, and Colombia. Also, they will help to fund activities related to humanitarian demining, mine risk education, victim rehabilitation and technical equipment in these countries.

The OAS program provides technical support and permanent advice to beneficiary countries in Central and South America, including humanitarian demining techniques, procedures and training, among others. The technical advice AICMA provides has helped build these countries' national capabilities to plan and conduct their own humanitarian demining plans.

Today, AICMA assists Peru with humanitarian demining and mine risk education in the Amazonas department on the border with Ecuador. In Nicaragua the program supports the country's effort to complete its National Demining Plan by May 2010. And in Colombia, it implements an integral approach to humanitarian clearing of suspected contaminated areas that threaten communities with improvised explosive devices.

Since 2001, Italy has contributed more than 2.6 million US dollars to the OAS Mine Action Program. Italy's steady contribution has proven essential to the development of mine risk education and victim assistance initiatives in the region.

Reference: E-423/09