STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
As a follow up to their October 15, 1999 meeting in Washington, Prime Minister Bondevik and President Clinton today announced a joint United States-Norwegian initiative to provide prosthetic devices and rehabilitation services for mutilated and disabled victims of the war in Sierra Leone. This initiative could be expanded to other nations. The United States and Norway will initially contribute up to one million dollars each to support the work of non-governmental and other organizations engaged in this effort.
The deliberate amputation of limbs of innocent civilians by rebel militia has impaired thousands of individuals and created hardships for their families. In addition to overcoming physical challenges, victims face serious problems in adapting and integrating into their own communities. The United States and Norway want to work with the people of Sierra Leone to meet this critical humanitarian need. The United States and Norway call on others to join in efforts to support those who have lost limbs from any cause, including intentional mutilation.
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