HALO is honoured to have welcomed three members of the United States (U.S.) House of Representatives to The HALO Trust’s programme in Nagorno Karabakh this month in a historic visit.
Representatives Frank Pallone (NJ – 6), Jackie Speier (CA – 14), and Judy Chu (CA – 27) all visited HALO’s field office in Stepanakert. During their visit, the Representatives were briefed by HALO staff about the status of the demining programme and the importance of U.S. support to making the land safe for the people of Nagorno Karabakh. National staff then provided a demonstration of how HALO clears landmines in the communities where we work.
Since 2000, HALO has been clearing landmines and explosive debris from Nagorno Karabakh, making more than 33,000 acres of land safe for communities. Over 130,000 people, 85 per cent of the territory’s population, have benefitted from HALO’s activities. The programme has been supported generously by private donors and USAID.
Their visit came after the U.S. Congress sent two letters, one from the House of Representatives and one from the Senate, to USAID in August urging the Agency to continue its support for HALO’s work in the territory.
At the conclusion of their briefing, each Representative stated that they would engage USAID to ensure funding for this programme is continued. HALO is grateful for the amazing support of its Congressional champions and thanks each Representative for supporting this life-saving programme.
“HALO’s landmine clearance program in Nagorno Karabakh is a lifeline for many communities. Over 80% of the region’s population has benefited from cleared landmines. I will continue to engage USAID to ensure the continuation of HALO’s life-saving program.”
Judy Chu, U.S. Representative for California’s 27th Congressional District
“Landmines in Nagorno Karabakh have devastated far too many families. We must finish our humanitarian work we started in eradicating this very real threat to life and limb. I will continue to fight for the necessary funding for demining so that the HALO Trust can finish this vital work. America must make good on our promise to ensure the job is completed.”
Jackie Speier, U.S. Representative for California’s 14th Congressional District
“Ridding Nagorno Karabakh of landmines breaks down barriers between communities and helps to pave the way for growth and prosperity. I will continue to work with my colleagues on the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues to ensure the U.S. fulfills our commitment to demine the territory. Doing so will help ensure no parent has to live in fear of losing their child to these deadly devices.”
Frank Pallone, U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 6th Congressional District