Cablegate: Humanitarian Demining Assistance to Yemen Helps

Published: Sun 31 Oct 2004 07:00 AM
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
E.O. 12958: N/A
1. This is an action request. See paragraph 2.
2. Summary and Action Request. Funds for the USG Yemeni
Humanitarian Demining Program (HDP) may be cut entirely in FY
05. Approaching its seventh year, Yemen's HDP (YHDP) is an
example of how USG humanitarian assistance can successfully
help meet USG policy goals in the region. Ending assistance
to the YHDP at this time would have a negative impact on
Yemen's ability to attain self-sufficiency in demining in the
near future, and on USG CT and PD goals in the region. Post,
therefore, urges continued funding for FY 05. End Summary
and Action Request.
Program successes
3. Since the USG began contributing to the Yemen's National
Mine Action Center's (NMAC) demining efforts, over 80,900
Unexploded Ordinances (UXOs) and 1,000 assorted mines from
more than 86 minefields have been cleared. All areas in
Yemen that were considered to be high impact (where the
presence of mines significantly changes the daily activities
of a community), and 40 percent of all medium impact areas
are now considered mine-safe. The program was also the first
in the world to have a civilian and a military component and
to complete a Level One Survey which takes into account the
social impact of mine locations. With USG help, the Yemen
NMAC has developed a strategic plan with an achievable end
state of self-sufficiency.
HDP promotes U.S. interests
3. HDP has also served as an effective method to extend U.S.
public diplomacy to remote areas of the country at a time
when hostility to U.S. policy in the region is high. The
NMAC readily acknowledges and teaches local populations that
the USG is the longest sustaining and single donor to the
program. Locally affected populations regularly thank
Emboffs who visit mine-affected areas for USG support. It is
noteworthy that during the 2000 attack on the USS Cole,
U.S.-trained Yemeni demining troops were the first on the
scene, and worked tirelessly to aid U.S. sailors.
Humanitarian considerations
4. In the past year YHDP has worked diligently on the
approximately 700 square kilometers of mid and low level
areas where populations are negatively impacted economically
by mine ridden and therefore fallow land. The last year has
also seen NMAC clear 517 mines and 6,691 UXOs from
significantly tougher terrain than in previous years.
Almost there
5. While the Yemen HDP is close to becoming self-sustaining,
there is no doubt that it still requires US aid to remain
vital through to self-sufficiency. USG funding currently
comprises 12 percent of its yearly funds and, over the course
of its support, has provided 50 percent of all its equipment.
The NMAC staff has a solid end state in mind and a
restructuring underway to met it. Cutting USG funding at
this time will have a negative impact on reaching demining
self-sufficiency in Yemen.
6. Yemen HDP funding is a diplomatic and operational success
in a core country in the GWOT. While humanitarian concerns
have decreased significantly due to the program's previous
successes, the need for continued CT cooperation, public
diplomacy efforts, and the long-term success of the Yemeni
demining program make continued USG HDP support vital.
Furthermore, mines and UXOs still significantly affect the
country's economy. Post urges continued funding from this
program for FY 05. End Comment.
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