Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
Washington, DC

($ in thousands)

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Account

FY 2005 Actual

FY 2006 Actual

FY 2007 Request

FY 2008

NADR-ITF

9,920

9,900

10,000

10,000

NADR-ITF funds are administered by the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement.

The program supporting the International Trust Fund (ITF) for Demining and Mine Victims' Assistance is a special component of the U.S. humanitarian demining program, which supports our nation's strategic objective to "Advance sustainable development and global interests" by providing a "humanitarian response" to the harmful social and economic effects generated by landmines, unexploded ordnance (UXO) and abandoned ordnance (AO). In addition, U.S. contributions to the ITF foster regional stability through mine action projects funded by more than 20 countries, the European Union and more than 30 international non-governmental organizations, commercial firms, philanthropic foundations and other donors.

The ITF was established by the Republic of Slovenia, yet operates as an independent international organization. It commenced financial operations in September 1998, initially focusing on Bosnia and Herzegovina. The ITF has been a success both operationally and financially and has become the demining instrument of choice for the international community in the Balkans. Currently, the ITF provides financial support for over two-thirds of all demining operations being conducted in the region. Among ITF's successes are:

  • Facilitated the clearance of over 56 million square meters of land in the Balkans and nearly 1 million square meters in the Caucasus region from 1999 to September 2005.
  • Advances regional cooperation through its work as a founding member of the South East Europe Mine Action Coordination Council (SEEMAC).
  • Fostered mine victims assistance programs through the Slovenian Rehabilitation Institute and rehabilitation centers in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, which among other services, treated over 860 mine victims and trained over 320 health care specialists.

In May 1998, Congress appropriated $28 million for the ITF to assist mine-affected countries in the Balkan region. Since then, the United States has contributed more than $82 million in matching and unilateral contributions to support mine action in the Balkans and the Caucasus. These funds have been provided to the ITF to match other donor contributions, thus effectively doubling funding available for humanitarian mine action projects executed by the international donor community through the ITF. Without the United States matching funds as a draw for other international donors humanitarian mine action in the Balkans would be drastically reduced with significant negative consequences for mine and unexploded ordnance casualty rates, economic development and regional security.

The FY 2007 request for $10 million will continue matching dollar-for-dollar the contributions of other international donors. In 2005, the ITF operated in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, coordinating a broad range of mine action activities. The bulk of the FY 2007 contribution will fund humanitarian mine action in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, which despite the assistance provided through the ITF remain the most heavily mine impacted of the Balkan states, as well as continuing assistance to Albania and Serbia and Montenegro. Some sustainment assistance such as equipment and training will also be provided to indigenous demining capabilities in Macedonia and Kosovo established with past U.S. assistance. [Source: FY 2007 Congressional Budget Justification.]

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