The Government is intensifying its work with the EU to develop a comprehensive policy in the field of humanitarian demining. The top priority is to engage international demining experts, purchase special equipment and demine agricultural land. This was discussed during a meeting between Yuliia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Economy of Ukraine, and Peter Wagner, Head of EU Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, on 9 May, as SEEDS writes.
“The Government of Ukraine has identified mine clearance as one of the five key priorities for the country’s rapid recovery and has adopted an Action Plan for the clearance of agricultural land. First of all, more than 470,000 hectares of farmland need to be cleared of mines. Our challenge today is to accelerate the demining process as much as possible, increase the number of sappers and equip them with special equipment. To this end, we have already launched a special fundraising campaign through the United24 platform to purchase special equipment for demining the territory of Ukraine. Our goal is to raise more than EUR 230 million for special equipment to clear the priority areas,” – said Yuliia Svyrydenko.
In total, more than 30 partner countries and organisations provide support to Ukraine in the area of humanitarian demining. However, the greatest need now is to increase the number of mine action operators (demining specialists) and to search for foreign manufacturers of special demining equipment for further procurement by Ukraine.
Currently, demining in Ukraine is carried out by both state agencies, such as the SES and the Ministry of Defence, and private mine action operators. About 1,700 deminers and 12 demining vehicles are involved.
The First Deputy Prime Minister emphasised that the Government was launching a new state policy on humanitarian demining. The key elements include:
- updating national mine action standards;
- an effective national mine action programme with priority areas;
- creation of a market for demining services, competition between demining operators, involvement of as many international operators as possible with the financial support of international partners;
- educational and communication campaigns;
- active involvement of innovative technologies.
Peter Wagner, Head of EU Service for Foreign Policy Instruments, noted that cooperation with European business in this area required a comprehensive policy that took into account EU certification, development of maps of mined areas, coordination of all participants and demining processes.
The parties agreed to further cooperate on the development of a comprehensive policy in the field of humanitarian demining, joint search for special equipment and other resources.
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