On June 28th, the House State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) Subcommittee released its budget draft that includes a total of $264.603 million for the State Department’s Conventional Weapons Destruction program. This represents a $10 million increase from last year’s allocation. Conventional Weapons Destruction programs include humanitarian demining and weapons security management efforts worldwide, implemented by organizations like The HALO Trust.
The draft budget also included funding increases for Angola (to $10 million), Sri Lanka (to $10 million), Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam (to $50 million for Laos, and $30 million for Cambodia and Vietnam combined), and Zimbabwe (to $4 million). Funds have also been proposed for demining in Nagorno Karabakh at a level of $2 million, matching last year’s allocation.
The SFOPS subcommittee also signaled support for demining activities in the West Bank, Colombia, and Syria.
Additionally, the draft budget includes $5m of funding for demining and other environmental conservation efforts in the Okavango Delta region in Southern Africa.
HALO is pleased to see the inclusion of these provisions, that, if included in the final budget, would increase HALO’s ability to reach vulnerable communities, and speed the world’s progress toward a mine-free future.
The SFOPS draft budget was approved by the House Appropriations Committee on June 29th and will now move to the House floor for a vote. The Senate has not yet released its budget draft for this fiscal year.
The full text of the FY22 SFOPS Report is available here.