Our CEO James Cowan and Board member Anthony Bird received a warm welcome on their recent visit to Angola. During the visit, they met with the Minister for Territories, head of the Angolan mine action authority, CNIDAH, UK, EU and US Ambassadors, all of whom reminded them of the continued need for HALO’s mine clearance. All the government officials they met highlighted the longstanding support of international donors and reaffirmed the requirement for this support to continue to help Angola meet funding gaps, exacerbated by the current economic situation.
HALO and other international organisations have been working to clear landmines in Angola for the last two decades. Much progress has been made - some provinces could achieve ‘mine free’ status within a few years - but this cannot happen without the right funding. The demining carried out by Government and international organisations is complementary, and with a consolidated effort Angola can be free of mines given the right funding and continued support from the international community.
James Cowan commented:
Oil and gas production has been helping Angola’s economy recover since the end of the civil war but with the recent fall in global oil prices, that recovery has slowed dramatically. There is broad agreement that Angola must diversify its economy so that it is less reliant on oil, and that the focus should be on agriculture, mineral extraction and tourism. All of these activities are dependent on safe access to land; land that needs to be free of landmines.