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UN reports success of 'Adopt-A-Minefield' campaign in Afghanistan

UN reports success of 'Adopt-A-Minefield' campaign in Afghanistan

A privately funded effort to remove landmines called "Adopt-a-Minefield" has achieved its best results in Afghanistan, the United Nations announced today.

The Islamabad-based Office of the UN Coordinator for Afghanistan reported that so far, Adopt-a-Minefield, a campaign of the UN Association of the USA, has raised over $620,000 to clear 22 sites in the country. The campaign seeks national and international sponsors to adopt minefields that the UN has identified as being in urgent need of clearance.

"The Adopt-A-Minefield Campaign in Afghanistan has been the most successful in the world," said Oren Schlein, the Programme's Executive Director, who worked previously at the UN. Currently in Islamabad, Mr. Schlein will head to Afghanistan tomorrow to visit mine action centres and review the Campaign's work in the country.

Ted Turner's Better World Fund provides Adopt-A-Minefield with a 25-cent match for every dollar raised, which pays for the administrative and programming costs of the Campaign. According to the Office of the Coordinator, this arrangement makes it possible for Adopt-A-Minefield to forward every dollar raised to the UN for mine clearance.

Since its launch in March 1999, the Campaign has raised $3.5 million for demining. Individuals, community groups, and businesses have adopted more than 90 minefields in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia, and Mozambique, according to the UN.