Jim Costa, Representative of California’s 16th Congressional District
101 Bipartisan U.S. Representatives Call for Emergency Funding of Explosive Ordnance Removal in Nagorno Karabakh
The tragic conflict in Nagorno Karabakh has displaced over half of the population of this remote and beautiful region. Those who have stayed behind are taking shelter in cold, damp basements or crowding into air raid shelters. Explosives, including cluster bombs, have been found in civilian areas and pose an immediate threat to local communities and are particularly dangerous to families and children who do not know how to identify them.
The HALO Trust applauds Representatives Jim Costa (D-CA-16), Devin Nunes (R-CA-22), T.J. Cox (D-CA-21), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12), Brad Sherman (D-CA-30), Bill Johnson (R-OH-6), Judy Chu (D-CA-27), and John Katko (R-NY-24) for leading 92 additional U.S. House Members in a letter calling for emergency funding to remove these deadly devices. Their letter, addressed to USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa, urges USAID to support urgent clearance of unexploded ordnance and to provide additional humanitarian aid to help those impacted by violence.
Nagorno Karabakh is no stranger to conflict or the threat of explosive hazards. The region was littered with landmines and unexploded ordnance during conflicts at the end of the Soviet era. For nearly 20 years, The HALO Trust has worked to clear this deadly legacy, removing explosive hazards from almost 500 minefields, and destroying over 50,000 bombs and other explosive items. In March of 2020, USAID ended its support for this effort.
With the recent resumption of fighting, there is an urgent need to clear unexploded ordnance to protect civilians and allow for the return of refugees. Failing to renew U.S. support would abandon families and communities to live under the constant threat of these deadly devices and prevent safe reconstruction. HALO is encouraged to see bipartisan support to renew support for this life-saving demining work.
The cosponsors of the letter noted the immense humanitarian need to clear the contamination of unexploded ordnance.
Devin Nunes, Representative of California’s 22nd Congressional District
The letter was signed by Representatives:
Alma S. Adams • Colin Allred • Jim Banks • Nanette Diaz Barragán • Karen Bass • Donald S. Beyer Jr. • Sanford D. Bishop Jr. • Salud O. Carbajal • Tony Cárdenas • André Carson • David N. Cicilline • Gilbert R. Cisneros Jr. • Katherine M. Clark • Jim Cooper • J. Luis Correa • Jason Crow • Danny K. Davis • Peter A. DeFazio • Diana DeGette • Ted Deutch • Debbie Dingell • Lloyd Doggett • Eliot L. Engel • Veronica Escobar • Anna Eshoo • Brian Fitzpatrick • Bill Foster • Lois Frankel • Russ Fulcher • Tulsi Gabbard • Ruben Gallego • John Garamendi • Jimmy Gomez • Josh Gottheimer • Raul Grijalva • Deb Haaland • Josh Harder • Chrissy Houlahan • Henry C. "Hank" Johnson Jr. • William R. Keating • Dan Kildee, • Steve King • Raja Krishnamoorthi • Doug LaMalfa • Jim Langevin • Brenda L. Lawrence • Barbara Lee • Susie Lee • Andy Levin • Ted Lieu • Zoe Lofgren • Alan Lowenthal • Stephen F. Lynch • Tom Malinowski • Carolyn B. Maloney • Sean Patrick Maloney • Betty McCollum • James P. McGovern • Gregory W. Meeks • Grace Meng • John Moolenaar • Seth Moulton • Grace F. Napolitano • Donald Norcross, • Ilhan Omar • Jimmy Panetta • Frank Pallone, Jr. • Chellie Pingree • Mark Pocan • David Price • Jamie Raskin • Harley Rouda • Linda Sánchez • John P. Sarbanes • Jan Schakowsky • Adam B. Schiff, • Albio Sires • Elissa Slotkin • Christopher H. Smith • Abigail D. Spanberger, Tom Suozzi, Jackie Speier, Haley M. Stevens, Dina Titus, Rashida Tlaib, Paul Tonko, Lori Trahan, David Trone, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Nydia M. Velázquez • Juan Vargas • Peter Welch • John Yarmuth
You can download the letter below.