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Help Remove Landmines in Kosovo

Item # 32950

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Help free the people of Kosovo from the legacy of war -- deadly unexploded bombs and mines.

Between 1997 and 1999 the Yugoslav Army laid minefields throughout Kosovo, and in 1999 NATO drove out the Yugoslav Army in a 78-day bombing campaign in support of the Kosovar population. In the wake of the conflict, hundreds of minefields and cluster bomb strikes remain to ravage this tiny country, causing continuing injury and death to the civilian population long after the war has ended.

In addition to the human casualties, loss of livestock and denial of land from productive use have contributed to ongoing poverty, with 37% of Kosovo's population below the poverty line, according to the World Bank. Over 100 minefields and clusters of bombs remain to be cleared, with some areas as large as 15 acres, and they tend to be in rural areas where the people rely on woodcutting, small-scale farming, and scrap collecting for their livelihoods, making them more vulnerable to unexploded mines.

A Kosovar deminer's job is demanding and dangerous. Deminers literally risk their lives to locate unexploded bombs and mines, and detonate them in the ground, which is safer than attempting to defuse them. Two teams are currently deployed, but there is an immediate need for ten teams, in order for Kosovo to have a chance of complying with the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty or the Oslo Cluster Munition Convention in the next ten years.

You can help. $25.00 pays the salary of a deminer for one day, and $125.00 covers an entire week.

Report from the Field

Demining is conducted by The HALO Trust, a not-for-profit organization that is the world's largest landmine clearance agency. With more than 8,000 staff working in thirteen war-ravaged countries, HALO clears landmines and unexploded ordnance from war-torn countries so that some of the world's most vulnerable people can plant their crops, rebuild their homes and raise their families in safety. In Kosovo, 70 local staff are currently employed to clear the deadly remnants of war.

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