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HDI Convenes a Roundtable Discussion In Washington DC,

April 16th, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009 - The Humpty Dumpty Institute convened a roundtable discussion on April 16 in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington DC focused on the connections between mine action, agricultural development, and food security. Participants included Ambassadors, senior diplomats from Sri Lanka, Laos, Mozambique, and Angola, senior officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and representatives from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Alliance to End Hunger, Land O’Lakes, the HALO Trust, and RONCO Consulting.

HDI President Ralph Cwerman opened the meeting with a presentation on how landmines impact education, agriculture, and commerce. Kurt Chesko, Vice President of The HALO Trust, further emphasized Mr. Cwerman’s point – that landmine clearance is a vital component of development in developing nations.

After the presentation, the ambassadors of Sri Lanka and Laos to the United States spoke about the importance of HDI’s programs to their countries. Sri Lankan Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya explained that as a result of HDI’s demining and dairy development program, people are returning to Jaffna. Ambassador Phiane Philakone of Laos noted that HDI’s project in Khammouanne Province has improved the country considerably. Ross Kreamer of the USDA praised HDI for its holistic approach to food security and agricultural development programs. (HDI’s Sri Lanka and Laos programs are funded by the USDA.)

The participants then spent the rest of the meeting discussing strategies for coupling mine action with development and creating a list of action items to continue to raise awareness about the linkage between the two.

 

To learn more about this program and HDI, please contact Daniel Mencher@thehdi.org

 

 

 

Ralph Cwerman (far right), President of HDI,

welcomes the participants.

Luis Eduardo Sitoe of the Embassy of Mozambique discusses how landmines have affected commerce and agricultural development in his country.

Babette Gainor from the USDA and Luis Eduardo Sitoe of the Embassy of Mozambique

talk after the roundtable



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