Germany Continues Vital Funding to ICMP

5 November 2008: The German Government continues its vital support to the work of the ICMP Director General, Ms. Kathryne Bomberger and the German Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, H.E. Joachim Schmidt are signing a donor funding agreement International Commission on Missing Persons with an important contribution this year of 600,000 Euros. This donation will support ICMP’s DNA-assisted identification program, which has already helped in accurately identifying almost 12,000 persons missing from the armed conflicts of the 1990’s in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“ICMP, together with other organizations, has over the years essentially contributed to the reconciliation process of BIH. Despite their work, 13.000 persons are still missing in BIH. Through identifying the victims found in mass graves, ICMP is enabling their surviving relatives to get reliable information and in the end come to terms with the past. Germany highly appreciates ICMP’s endeavours. Therefore we have contributed more than 1 million Euros since 2001, and today we have gathered because Germany remains committed to accompany BIH coming to terms with its recent past and, thereby, also further facilitate political stabilization.” said H.E. Ambassador Joachim Schmidt, Germany’s Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“Since 2001, the German Federal Government has donated a total of almost 2 million Euros to our work and we are not only very grateful for their support to ICMP, but for their unwavering commitment to the families of the missing in Bosnia and Herzegovina and for supporting their right to know,” said ICMP’s Director General Kathryne Bomberger. “Were it not for donations such as these from the German Government and other important donor nations we would not be able to continue to provide this critical support to Bosnia and Herzegovina,” she added.

Since November 2001, state-of-the-art DNA-assisted human identification programs have lain at the heart of ICMP’s considerable and ongoing successes in dealing with the question of missing persons in the former Yugoslavia. Since November 2001, ICMP has led the way in using DNA as a first step in the process of identification.

ICMP has collected genetic information from 86,587 relatives of an estimated 28,644 missing people, along with 27,518 bone samples taken from human remains exhumed from mass graves throughout the former Yugoslavia. By matching DNA from the relatives’ blood with DNA from victims’ bone samples ICMP has been able to identify 14,170 out of the estimated 40,000-plus missing individuals from the region.

In addition to its technical support, ICMP is the co-founder of the Missing Persons Institute of BiH. ICMP also contributes to transitional justice activities, provides legislative support and helps in the development of networks of civil society organizations which advocate for truth, justice, and for the rights of family members of missing persons.

The work of ICMP is also supported by the Governments of Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, the Holy See, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union. The C.S. Mott Foundation provides funding to ICMP for the “Paths to Reconciliation” project.