US announces additional US$3 million for Zim demining activities

The United States (US) government Wednesday announced an additional US$3 million for the ongoing humanitarian demining projects in Zimbabwe.

In a statement the US embassy’s Public Affairs section said since 1998, their country has invested more than $23.9 million in Zimbabwe to protect people from landmines and promote economic opportunities through safe access to land. 

“The United States supports the Government of Zimbabwe’s goal to safely clear all minefields in the country by 2025,” said the embassy.

“As Ambassador (Brian) Nichols stated, “Longstanding U.S. support for humanitarian demining in Zimbabwe has destroyed more than 38,000 landmines, returned 8.1 square kilometres of land to productive use, and educated over 10,100 people about the dangers of landmines.”

The embassy said the US has provided over US$3.5 billion in health and humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe since 1980. 

“We are proud to continue saving lives and facilitating sustainable development through humanitarian demining,” said the embassy.

“US$2,250,000 will support The HALO Trust’s ongoing demining operations in Mashonaland Central Province. This continuation of U.S. support will allow HALO to return 1,186,000 square meters to productive use and destroy an estimated 7,800 landmines. HALO will also provide mine risk education (MRE) to vulnerable communities and prosthetic limbs to landmine survivors.”

The remaining US$750,000, the embassy said, would enable APOPO to start clearing landmines from the Sengwe Wildlife Corridor in Masvingo Province that connects Gonarezhou National Park to Kruger National Park. 

“During this project, APOPO will return 214,200 square meters to productive use and provide mine risk education to vulnerable communities. APOPO will coordinate its operations with the Gonarezhou Conservation Trust, a partnership between the Zimbabwean Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the Frankfurt Zoological Society, to ensure the demining operations support both conservation and development objectives.” 

The project, the embassy said, also complements USAID programs to support community-based natural resource management, provide climate-smart agricultural technologies, and improve value chains so communities can sell their products for a fair market price.

“The United States is the world leader in Conventional Weapons Destruction, providing more than US$3.7 billion in more than 100 countries since 1993 to advance security, stability, and economic development priorities,” added the embassy.

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