WASHINGTON, D.C. – Eighty-nine U.S. House of Representatives rallied together to support The HALO Trust’s demining efforts in Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) in a letter spearheaded by Congressmen TJ Cox (D-CA) and Brad Sherman (D-CA). In addition, a similar letter is being considered in the Senate, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly).
“We strongly urge USAID to reconsider the decision to stop funding for humanitarian landmine clearance in Nagorno Karabakh at the end of this year. It’s more important than ever that we continue to support the humanitarian demining program in the region until mine-free status is achieved,” the letter reads.
The Members of Congress point out in the letter that if USAID halts all support for demining in the region, the move “would leave the people of Nagorno Karabakh to live in fear of death or injury from landmines, with no local capacity in place to address this ongoing threat.”
“With thousands of landmines still left in the ground, and families living daily in the shadow of death or devastating injury, this is no time for the United States to back away from its historic commitment to the people of Nagorno Karabakh,” The HALO Trust USA Executive Director Chris Whatley said.
“The Armenian Assembly of America appreciates the strong support from so many Members of Congress on this important humanitarian initiative. We would also like to thank The HALO Trust for their critically important life-saving work,” Assembly Congressional Relations Director Mariam Khaloyan stated.
Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.