Italy supports Mine Action Program [Archives:2006/959/Local News]

June 29 2006

SANA'A, June 24 ) As part of its efforts to support Yemen with the clearance of mines, the government of Italy offered $150,000 in aid to the Mine Action Program (MAP) during the fiscal year 2006.

The financial assistance package was approved in the cooperation agreement signed by the officials from the Tuscany region in Italy and the chairman of the MAP in December 2003. In addition, the agreement stipulates that the government of Italy will supply Yemen with free medicine for Yemeni children injured in mine blasts.

Yemen's MAP is an internationally recognized program that has rid Yemen of mines. It also has programs to make the public more aware about the risk of mines.

Last year, the MAP received many Iraqi, Somali, and Sudanese mine experts and is due to receive high ranking delegations from Uganda and Mauritania in the near future. Delegates come to review how Yemen's MAP has achieved its success.

The program has extracted as many as 146 mines around Yemen. The MAP has announced that the governorates of Aden, Hajja, and Hodeida are free of implanted mines.

During its second phase, the MAP received financial assistance from Canada, the Canadian International Development Agency, Belgium, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the U.S., Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, and the UN Development Program.

The Yemeni government has contributed $3.5 million (USD) to the MAP with the aim of limiting injuries and deaths caused by implanted mines in the country.