The UK Ready to Support Ukrainian Mine Removal Action
Judith Gough: In five years of the conflict, Ukraine has become one of the most mine-polluted countries in the world
Photo Ukrayinska Pravda
The United Kingdom is ready to support mine-clearance organizations in accordance with a newly adopted law on mine clearance, providing that funds for de-mining actions will be donated directly and not go into the general state budget, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Ukraine Judith Gough wrote in her article for Ukrayinska Pravda.
“The international community welcomed the adoption of this law [on demining], but also expressed concern that the law doesn’t include the possibility of direct funding for our performers,” Ambassador Gough wrote.
According to the current version of the law, funding for the mine action goes directly to the budget.
“As donors, we simply cannot transfer money directly to the state budget in any country where we work,” Gough added.
In five years of the eastern conflict, Ukraine has become one of the most mine-polluted countries in the world, the Ambassador stated.
Since 2014, Halo Trust de-mining organization has recorded more than 1,900 accidents involving mines and other explosive remnants of war.
“In September 2018, three schoolchildren died in Donbas as a result of a mine blowing up, and another teenager was injured,” the ambassador wrote.
“Since I once worked in this area, I wanted to facilitate the reduction of the risks of such weapons in Ukraine. That is why I personally persuaded the British government to fund the Halo Trust, a world-known Scottish humanitarian de-mining organization, which became known for its collaboration with Princess Diana and its priceless experience and expertise,” Gough added.
According to her, since 2016, Halo Trust de-miners have cleared a total area of 2.5 million square meters of mines and other ammunition. During last year, the specialists of the organization conducted 212 training courses on mine danger, covering more than 9,500 people in areas affected by mines. Gough also noted that more than 360 Ukrainians are currently employed by Halo Trust.
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