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Rainbow Humanitarianism

   

LANDMINE ERADICATION

An estimated 110 million landmines in 64 countries remain buried and waiting to explode.

Since 2005, RWF has funded projects to clear minefields in Cambodia. Our projects help families in rural areas who are living on land that has been contaminated by landmines and are therefore in constant danger. The projects also assist people who have been harmed by landmines.

In 2010 RWF formed a partnership with MAG America Inc. in Cambodia. Previously we were partnered with the Adopt-A-Minefield program in the United Nations Association of the USA until the UNA completed their mine clearance mission in Cambodia.

LANDMINE FACTS

Anti-personnel landmines were first used during World War I, products of the advent of modern warfare. Since that time their proliferation has been astonishing. In Cambodia, an estimated 10 million remain buried, in Egypt 23 million remain, in Croatia 10 million, in Afghanistan 10 million, in Angola 15 million. An additional 200 million landmines worldwide remain stockpiled waiting to deployed. Landmines kill or injure three people an hour, 72 a day, 2,200 a month, 26,000 a year, year after year. Eighty percent of victims are civilians, thousands of them children.

The horrifying toll goes far beyond the cost of lost lives and medical expenses. Entire families, communities, even entire nations are devastated. If the victim of a landmine is a family's breadwinner, the future of the entire family is jeopardized. Aside from the devastating psychological impact, the family faces major economic consequences. How will the family feed itself? Will the family have to move? Will the children be able to attend school? In Cambodia there are presently over 35,000 amputees requiring ongoing health care and rehabilitation at a tremendous cost to the health care system. Their productivity and ability to contribute to the economic welfare of their families and nation are diminished. The presence of millions of landmines renders vast amounts of farmland unusable. Landmines often kill grazing livestock. The cycle of suffering continues as a result. Demining is an extremely time consuming and costly process. One landmine costs about three dollars to purchase and 300 to 1,000 dollars to deactivate. The cost of eradicating landmines from Cambodia today is three to 10 billion dollars. The economic burden to countries often already struggling economically is staggering. The humanitarian cost is both tragic and incalculable.