Media Center

Press Release


  May 7, 2009

The United State’s Department of State (DOS) approved recently a donation of $140.000 USD to the Organization of American States’ Comprehensive Action against Anti-personnel Mines Program (OAS-AICMA). This donation will be destined specifically to support the Landmine Victim Rehabilitation and Social Reinsertion Initiative in Central America for an entire year, starting May 1st 2009.

When the armed conflict that took place in Nicaragua during the 80s ended, 13 of the 15 departments of the country were left contaminated with antipersonnel mines. In 1991 the Nicaraguan government asked the General Secretariat of the OAS for technical and financial assistance to develop a national demining program. Since then, mine action activities have been funded by a large number of international donors such as the United States, with support from the Organization.

This most recent donation was made to the landmine survivors physical rehabilitation project in Nicaragua, which also includes assistance to survivors from Honduras; and the creation of social reintegration initiatives mainly by supporting the establishment of small productive enterprises.

More than 97% of the Nicaraguan survivors and 100% of registered Honduran survivors who have requested assistance have received it. This assistance consists of providing transportation, lodging, meals, medication, surgeries, and specialized medical assistance depending on every patient’s needs. It also includes providing them with prostheses if required, and the physical and psychological therapy to help overcome the effects of their injuries. For example, in Nicaragua, in coordination with the National Technological Institute (INATEC), vocational and technical training is also offered to them in various fields such as auto mechanics, computer skills, carpentry, shoemaking, tailoring, and cosmetology. The goal is to successfully reintegrate survivors as productive members of their communities.

Nicaragua is the only Central-American country that still suffers from antipersonnel mines. However, conclusion of Nicaragua’s National Demining Plan is anticipated before the end of 2009, when Central America will be declared the first mine free region in the world. Nevertheless, assistance to mine victims will continue because they require constant long-term support to overcome their difficult situation and to reach success.

Reference: E-163/09