By Staff Reporter
THE United States government has made an additional donation of US$3 million for humanitarian demining projects in Zimbabwe.
Since 1998, the superpower has invested more than $23,9 million in Zimbabwe to protect people from landmines and promote economic opportunities through safe access to agricultural land.
The United States supports Harare’s goal to safely clear all minefields in the country by 2025.
Announcing the donation in a statement Wednesday, US ambassador Nichols said: “Longstanding U.S. support for humanitarian demining in Zimbabwe has destroyed more than 38,000 landmines, returned 8.1 square kilometers of land to productive use, and educated over 10,100 people about the dangers of landmines.
“The United States has provided over $3.5 billion in health and humanitarian assistance to the people of Zimbabwe since 1980. We are proud to continue saving lives and facilitating sustainable development through humanitarian demining.”
A total of $2 250 000 will support The HALO Trust’s ongoing demining operations in Mashonaland Central province.
This continuation of U.S. support will allow HALO to return 1 186 000 square meters to productive use and destroy an estimated 7 800 landmines.
HALO will also provide mine risk education (MRE) to vulnerable communities and prosthetic limbs to landmine survivors.
The remaining $750,000 will enable APOPO, another non-governmental organisation to start clearing landmines in the Sengwe Wildlife Corridor in Masvingo province. The wildlife corridor connects Gonarezhou National Park to Kruger National Park.
During this project, APOPO will return 214,200 square meters to productive use and provide mine risk education to vulnerable communities. APOPO will coordinate its operations with the Gonarezhou Conservation Trust, a partnership between the Zimbabwean Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the Frankfurt Zoological Society, to ensure the demining operations support both conservation and development objectives.
The project also complements USAID programmes to support community-based natural resource management, provide climate-smart agricultural technologies, and improve the value chain so communities can sell their products for a fair market price.
The United States is the world leader in conventional weapons destruction, providing more than US$37 billion in more than 100 countries since 1993 to advance security, stability, and economic development priorities.