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International Disability And Victims Of Landmines, Civil Strife And Warfare Assistance Act Of 2001

Sen. Robert C. Byrd

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Mr. President, at the request of the distinguished majority leader and the assistant leader, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of Calendar No. 528, S. 1777.

The clerk will report the bill by title.

The legislative clerk read as follows:

A bill (S. 1777) to authorize assistance for individuals with disabilities in foreign countries, including victims of landmines and other victims of civil strife and warfare, and for other purposes.

There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the bill, which had been reported from the Committee on Foreign Relations with amendments as follows:

[Strike the parts shown in black brackets and insert the parts shown in italic] Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

This Act may be cited as the ``International Disability and Victims of Landmines, Civil Strife and Warfare Assistance Act of [2001] 2002''.

(a) Findings.--Congress makes the following finding: (1)(A) According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, there are tens of millions of landmines in over 60 countries around the world, and it has estimated that as many as 24,000 people are maimed or killed each year by landmines, mostly civilians, resulting in amputations and disabilities of various kinds. (B) While the United States Government invests more than $100,000,000 in mine action programs annually, including funding for mine awareness and demining training programs, only about ten percent of these funds go to directly aid landmine victims. (C) The Patrick Leahy War Victims Fund, administered by the United States Agency for International Development, has provided essential prosthetics and rehabilitation for landmine and other war victims in developing countries who are disabled and has provided long-term sustainable improvements in quality of life for victims of civil strife and warfare, addressing such issues as barrier-free accessibility, reduction of social stigmatization, and increasing economic opportunities. (D) Enhanced coordination is needed among Federal agencies that carry out assistance programs in foreign countries for victims of landmines and other victims of civil strife and warfare to make better use of interagency expertise and resources. (2) According to a review of Poverty and Disability commissioned by the World Bank, ``disabled people have lower education and income levels than the rest of the population. They are more likely to have incomes below poverty level than the non-disabled population, and they are less likely to have savings and other assets . . . [t]he links between poverty and disability go two ways--not only does disability add to the risk of poverty, but conditions of poverty add to the risk of disability.''. (3) Numerous international human rights conventions and declarations recognize the need to protect the rights of individuals regardless of their status, including those individuals with disabilities, through the principles of equality and non-discrimination. (b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to authorize assistance for individuals with disabilities, including victims of landmines and other victims of civil strife and warfare.

The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 134 the following:

(a) Authorization.-- (1) In general.--The Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is authorized-- (A) to conduct programs in foreign countries related to individuals with disabilities, including victims of landmines and other victims of civil strife and warfare; (B) to provide grants to nongovernmental organizations for the purpose of carrying out research, prevention, public awareness and assistance programs in foreign countries related to individuals with disabilities, including victims of landmines and other victims of civil strife and warfare. (2) Approval of secretary of state.--Activities under programs established pursuant to paragraph (1) may be carried out in foreign countries only [after consultation] in coordination with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and upon approval for such activities in such countries by the Secretary of State. (b) Activities.--Programs established pursuant to subsection (a) may include the following activities: (1) Research on trauma, physical, psychological, and social rehabilitation, and continuing medical care related to individuals with disabilities, including victims of landmines and other victims of civil strife and warfare, including-- (A) conducting research on psychological and social factors that lead to successful recovery; (B) developing, testing, and evaluating model interventions that reduce post-traumatic stress and promote health and well-being; (C) developing basic instruction tools for initial medical response to traumatic injuries; and (D) developing basic instruction manuals for patients and healthcare providers, including for emergency and follow-up care, proper amputation procedures, and reconstructive surgery. (2) Facilitation of peer support networks for individuals with disabilities, including victims of landmines and other victims of civil strife and warfare, in foreign countries, including-- (A) establishment of organizations at the local level, administered by such individuals, to assess and address the physical, psychological, economic and social rehabilitation and other needs of such individuals, together with their families as appropriate, for the purpose of economic and social reintegration into local communities; and (B) training related to the implementation of such peer support networks, including training of outreach workers to assist in the establishment of organizations such as those described in subparagraph (A) and assistance to facilitate the use of the networks by such individuals. (3) Sharing of expertise from limb-loss and disability research centers in the United States with similar centers and facilities in war-affected countries, including promoting increased health for individuals with limb loss and limb deficiency and epidemiological research on secondary medical conditions related to limb loss and limb deficiency. (4) Developing a database of best practices to address the needs of the war-related disabled through comprehensive examination of support activities related to such disability and access to medical care and supplies. (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years [2002] 2003 through 2004.

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs is authorized-- (1) to provide advice and expertise on prosthetics, orthotics, physical and psychological rehabilitation and treatment, and disability assistance to other Federal departments and agencies, including providing for temporary assignment on a non-reimbursable basis of appropriate Department of Veterans Affairs personnel, with respect to the implementation of programs to provide assistance to victims of landmines and other victims of civil strife and warfare in foreign countries and landmine research and health-related programs, including programs established pursuant to section 135 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (as added by section 3 of this Act) and programs established pursuant to section 4 of this Act; and (2) to provide technical assistance to private voluntary organizations on a reimbursable basis with respect to the planning, development, operation, and evaluation of such landmine assistance, research, and prevention programs. [SEC. 6. INTERAGENCY GROUP.

Sen. Robert C. Byrd

legislator photo

Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent the committee amendments be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, the bill, as amended, be read the third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table, and any statements relating thereto be printed in the Record, without intervening action or debate.

Without objection, it is so ordered.

The committee amendments were agreed to.

The bill (S. 1777), as amended, was read the third time and passed, as follows: