A group of US Senators have written a letter to the leadership of the Senate Appropriations Committee asking for funding for a number of demining projects, including in Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), VOA reports.
More than 30 senators, led by Senators Chris Van Hollen and Todd Young, have written to chairman Christopher Coons and ranking member Lindsey of the US Senate Appropriations Committee Graham, asking for funding for a number of demining projects. Along with Afghanistan, Laos, Sri Lanka, Angola and Zimbabwe, these senators are asking for $2 million for a demining program in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The letter states that the "recent conflict in Nagorno Karabakh resulted in enormous levels of contamination by cluster munitions, rockets, and other explosive ordnance. These hazards are still present near homes, and litter farms and streets – presenting a grave humanitarian risk."
In addition, according to the senators, "the removal of explosives is critical to continuing to rebuild infrastructure decimated during the conflict."
The senators stressed that, "U.S. funding for demining in Nagorno Karabakh ended in March 2020 and no funding is currently planned."
These US lawmakers believe that an "allocation of $2 million in FY22 will allow ordnance removal efforts activities to scale up and ensure families can return to their livelihoods without fear of explosive threats."
"Continued U.S. leadership in demining will promote effective and efficient programs that save lives, promote economic development, facilitate stability, and expand American influence," the letter concluded.