World

Annual report shows countries affected by landmines need $290 million next year

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Journalists invited to launch of mine-action report and press briefing on December 3
NEW YORK, 2 December 2003 - United Nations agencies and nongovernmental organizations working in 36 countries affected by landmines and unexploded ordnance will need $290 million to make land safe, teach people how to avoid harm and to assist victims, according to the Portfolio of Mine Action Projects 2004, to be published jointly here on December 3 by the UN Mine Action Service (Department of Peacekeeping Operations), UNICEF and the UN Development Programme.

Journalists are invited to the December 3 publication's launch at 11:15 in Henry Labouisse Hall, on the lower level of UNICEF House, 3 United Nations Plaza, on East 44th Street between 1st and 2nd avenues. After the launch, UN Mine Action Service Director Martin Barber will join the daily noon briefing by the UN Spokesman in room 226 in the UN Secretariat.

The launch coincides with the sixth anniversary of the day the anti-personnel mine-ban treaty opened for signature in Ottawa.

Landmines continue to affect an estimated 80 countries and claim more than 50 victims a day worldwide. While 141 countries have agreed to ban the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of mines, others have not, and some even continue to manufacture or deploy them.

Thirteen UN departments, agencies, programmes and funds and more than 100 nongovernmental organizations are helping countries tackle their landmine problems and comply with commitments made through the mine-ban treaty.

Contact Richard Kollodge, UN Mine Action Service, New York, at +1-212 963-5677, e-mail: kollodge@un.org.