Media Center

Press Release


  March 19, 2009

The government of Canada will make an important donation to the Humanitarian Demining Program in Nicaragua through the Program for Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines of the Organization of American States (OAS-AICMA), to support the Nicaraguan government in the fulfillment of its obligations as a member state of the Ottawa Convention. The Canadian contribution reaches almost 400,000 US dollars.

For more than 18 years this Central American country has made constant efforts to eliminate antipersonnel mines from its national territory. At the present Nicaragua’s National Demining Plan has achieved 97.5% of progress in terms of target areas to be cleared. For this reason, Canada’s donation will be oriented towards demining activities in four areas located near the border with Honduras, in the Nueva Segovia and Jinotega departments.

The impact of antipersonnel mines in Nicaragua not only affects the security of the population, but it also poses barriers to economic prosperity. Nevertheless, humanitarian demining operations supported by the OAS-AICMA Program have had a positive effect on aspects such as mobility, health, transportation, access to the communities, education, water and electric energy.

This donation, made through OAS-AICMA, specifically aims at three objectives in Nicaragua: to improve personal safety, increase mobility, and facilitate access to fertile land. The activities include humanitarian demining operations in the field, and educational campaigns to reduce risks in 14 communities still affected in Nicaragua.

As well as supporting the progress in Nicaragua, the AICMA Program also provides assistance in other countries. In Colombia, 400 inhabitants that were displaced by landmines were able to return to their homes in San Isidro, department of Antioquia and Bajo Grande, department of Bolivar, in December 2008. The Project assists Ecuador and Peru in demining their common border by the Condor Mountain Range. In Peru, a project to identify and assist landmine survivors was recently launched in coordination with the national demining authorities.

With this contribution made by the government of Canada, Nicaragua’s demining plan will be one step closer to being completed before the end of the present year.

Canada remains a key supporter of humanitarian mine action in the Americas since 1996. In 1997 the Canadian government became internationally known for its support against antipersonnel landmines by hosting the “Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction,” also known as the Ottawa Convention.

Reference: E-086/09