ICRC launches appeal for 105 million Swiss francs in aid of mine victims
25-06-1999 News Release 99/38
Geneva (ICRC) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today launched an appeal for 105 million Swiss francs (US$ 69 million) to cover its activities for mine victims over the next five years.
Although two important legal instruments concerning anti-personnel mines have recently become part of binding international humanitarian law, these weapons continue to maim and kill countless people every day. Recent developments in the Balkans have highlighted this tragic fact. Furthermore, in many parts of the world the presence of anti-personnel mines is still preventing farmers from tilling their fields, children from attending school and refugees or internally displaced people from returning to their homes.
Today's financial appeal covers all the ICRC's activities relating to mine victims. The aim is:
to promote universal adherence to and full implementation of the Ottawa treaty and amended Protocol II to the 1980 United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons;
to reduce the risk of mine-related incidents through mine-awareness programmes currently being conducted by the ICRC in six countries;
to provide mine victims with treatment and physical rehabilitation in 23 limb-fitting centres that the ICRC is running in 11 countries, and to continue its support for similar centres run by ministries of health, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and non-governmental organizations in many other countries;
to collect and analyse, where possible, data for use in the development of appropriate mine-act ion programmes.
The ICRC and the entire Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which is closely associated with all these activities, are well aware that only a total ban on the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of anti-personnel mines will put an end to the pain and destruction they cause. For the foreseeable future, however, a large-scale programme to prevent and alleviate the suffering engendered by these deadly weapons will remain necessary.
Governments, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and private donors are asked to respond generously to this appeal, so that mine incidents can be kept to a minimum and victims can receive proper assistance.