House Approves Lynch Amendment To Increase Funding For Landmine Removal Programs

Jun 12, 2006
On Thursday June 8th, the House of Representatives voted to approve an amendment offered by Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA) to increase funding for landmine removal programs.  Lynch’s amendment to the FY2007 Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill (H.R. 5522) would allocate an additional $5 million to the State Department’s Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining and Related (NADR) Programs account.  The measure also takes the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />United States an important step toward fully meeting our commitment to humanitarian landmine removal programs worldwide.

The amendment was supported by a broad majority in the House, as well as the 500 U.S.-based organizations that make up the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines.

Congressman Lynch said, "Nearly twenty thousand people are killed every year by landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and about a third of those victims are children.  That is in addition to the more than 135 American soldiers who were killed or injured by landmines in the Global War on Terrorism.  Removing landmines and so-called IEDs is a critical first step for the reconstruction of war-torn countries.  Plain and simple, removing landmines saves lives, and it’s our responsibility to help other nations do it safely.”

 

In 2004, the Bush Administration announced a new U.S. policy towards landmines, pledging to increase funds available to support the State Department’s NADR programs by an additional 50% increase over FY03 baseline levels.  In order to meet this policy goal, about $70 million per year needs to be allocated towards landmine removal programs.  Lynch’s amendment will raise the United States’ commitment to $65 million.

Congressman Lynch said, "Today, there are 80 million landmines in over 80 countries around the world.  Every day that we fail to act, millions more lives are put at risk.  President Bush has shown his commitment on this important issue and we in Congress must deliver on that promise.  I encourage Members of the Senate to support this important measure and fulfill our commitment to help eradicate landmines and IEDs worldwide.”

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