44% of amputees in Myanmar are landmine victims, says ICRC

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Forty-four percent of 4,559 amputees, undergoing rehabilitation under the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) last year, are the landmine victims, according to the ICRC.

MYANMAR - The ICRC is mainly giving medical assistance and supplying artificial limbs in Kayin, Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States and Mandalay Region. The majority of the amputees are landmine victims. Last year, the ICRC spent US$ 17.22 million on Myanmar's social and relief assistances and has earmarked US$ 24.41 million in aids this year.

Last year, the ICRC's tasks included meeting with over 18,000 prisoners, serving as a link between the prisoners and their families, donating clothes and recreation facilities, providing 4,600 disabled with artificial limbs and providing social and health assistances in Rakhine and Kayin states.

Myanmar's efforts to clear landmines hit a snag due to the ongoing fights between the government and the ethnic armed groups. The majority of landmines are located in Kayin and Kachin State. Kayin state is known as the most heavily-mined area in the country.

The ICRC started its work in Myanmar in 1986 and has six branches in Yangon, Mandalay, Sittway, MraukU, Myitkyina and Hpa-an.

The ICRC works in 80 countries to provide humanitarian assistance for people affected by arms conflict and violence, to promote the laws that protect victims of war and to carry out rehabilitation tasks, social activities and vocational works.

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