HALO submits written testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee to support increased funding for the Army’s Humanitarian Demining R&D program
On July 1st, the HALO Trust (USA) and MAG America jointly submitted testimony to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, to advocate for increased humanitarian demining funding in the FY23 budget. The testimony requests $21 million for the Army’s Humanitarian Demining R&D program (HD R&D), an increase of $2 million from the $19 million it received last year.
By partnering with the Army’s HD R&D Program, which develops new and life-saving UXO/landmine clearance technology, HALO and other partners have been able to save countless lives. Since 1995, the program has performed nearly 240 operational field evaluations in 43 countries, and HD R&D equipment has been used to clear more than 19,000 acres of land and destroy over 226,000 mines and UXO. R&D technology such as the Handheld Standoff Mine Detection System makes demining safer for U.S. forces, host-nation conducted demining operations, and humanitarian demining organizations such as HALO and MAG, ultimately protecting the lives of civilians.
An increase in funding will be especially important to our work in Ukraine, where HALO deminers are already at work clearing mines from the ongoing conflict. Funding for equipment to detect and destroy anti-tank mines, cut through vegetation and tripwires, and clear bunkers and other hard to access areas of a minefield will be vital to our demining efforts during both the conflict and recovery.