The Slovenia Times

ITF Collected US$ 375M in 15 Years


"In the 15 years of operation, the ITF has gained a lot of credibility and trust at home and made a name for itself in the international community," President Borut Pahor said in his address.

The world is going through major geopolitical changes which lead to many conflicts that are causing the suffering of the innocent civilian population. The international community must therefore at least make sure that the negative consequences of war are afterwards removed and that the victims get the necessary assistance, he said.

"The IFT is of extreme importance in this context and needs to be further developed," Pahor pointed out.

Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec, who also addressed the event, echoed this, adding that the ITF was helping to build Slovenia's image abroad. He expressed conviction that the fund would continue to successfully raise funds despite the crisis.

"We are cleaning, demining, warning, teaching, rehabilitating, promoting and collecting funds," Maršič said.

He noted that the ITF had cleaned almost 126 million square metres of mine-infested areas and destroyed a total of 73,308 mines and other explosive devices in the last 15 years.

A significant drop in the donations collected was however recorded recently. In the past an average of US$ 25-28m was collected a year, while last year the figure dropped to US$ 21m.

Maršič attributed this to the closing of projects in the countries of SE Europe, where the fund has been most active. Now, it is focussing on new projects to help individuals, communities and countries cope with the consequences of natural disasters and war.

Some of these projects have already been presented in Cape Verde, in Gaza and in Libya.

However, in order to boost its efficiency in obtaining the funds, the ITF will need to consider transforming itself into an international organisation.

"Our goal is foremost to create a world without threat and conventional weapons, a world in which the civil population enjoys a high degree of safety in facing human and natural disasters," Maršič said.

The ITF was founded in 1998 to clear mine-infested territory in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but its activities have since spread to other mine-affected countries and regions in the Balkans, the South Caucasus, Central Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa.


More from Nekategorizirano