Media Center

Press Release


  September 18, 2007

Thanks to two recent contributions from the government of the United States totaling US$500,000, the Organization of American States (OAS) Office of Humanitarian Mine Action and its Comprehensive Action Against Antipersonnel Mines (AICMA) program continue its support to mine clearance operations and survivors of landmines in Nicaragua and Honduras.

The Victims Assistance in Central America grant will provide US$300,000 for the OAS-administered victim assistance package, which includes: prosthetics, rehabilitation, transportation, subsistence and vocational assistance. A portion of this grant will be used to provide landmine survivor assistance at the National Center for Prosthetics and Orthotics in Managua, Nicaragua, as well as at the Vida Nueva prosthetic outreach center in Choluteca, Honduras. A second grant of US$200,000 will supplement a previous U.S. contribution of US$1,200,000 to assist Nicaragua, the most heavily mined country in Central America, in completing its National Demining Plan by the end of 2008.

The armed conflict in Nicaragua during the 1980’s left many populated areas, including its borders with Honduras and Costa Rica, contaminated with mines. Two goals of the OAS program are to eliminate the threat of landmines by clearing affected areas and to enable the victims of previous accidents caused by landmines to recover from the physical and psychological traumas of their injuries, reintegrating themselves as productive and contributing members of their communities.

The current figures available indicate that there are approximately 42 landmine survivors in Honduras and 1,008 in Nicaragua. The AICMA program identifies landmine survivors in the field, particularly those that have no social security or military benefits, and provides them with transportation from their communities to appropriate rehabilitation centers, lodging, meals, prostheses, therapy, and medications. In collaboration with national partners, AICMA supports a vocational training and placement project for landmine victims, providing technical job training in trades including auto mechanics, computer skills, carpentry, shoemaking, tailoring, and cosmetology.

Since its inception in 1997, the program has provided physical and psychological rehabilitation services to 884 landmine victims as well as

Reference: E-228/07