February 20, 2013 - Bogotá - The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), meets with a survivor at the announcement of Canadian support for the Assistance to Landmine Survivors project in Colombia. Through the Canadian International Development Agency, Canada is providing $2.93 million to help increase access to services for civilian landmine survivors, with a focus on children and youth, as well as increase the capacity of Colombian organizations that provide assistance to landmine victims.
The project is being implemented by Handicap International Canada, a member of the Handicap International Federation, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines for its fight against landmines and its promotion of the rights of the physically challenged. Handicap International Canada works in partnership with Colombia’s Presidential Program for Comprehensive Action Against Anti-Personnel Mines (PAICMA). Colombia has the second-highest number of landmine victims in the world, after Afghanistan, and it has had more than 8,000 landmine victims since 1990.
Canada has long partnered with countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to combat insecurity and strengthen institutions, and has invested more than $2 billion in the region (2008-2011) through development assistance, multilateral contributions and security-focused programming.
Minister Ablonczy was hosted for the announcement by Marcelo Álvarez, head of the Organization of American States (OAS) Mission to Support the Peace Process (MAPP/OAS).
For more information, please visit Harper Government assists Colombia's landmine survivors and Canada-Colombia Relations.