The Government of Azerbaijan, the European Union and UNDP join forces in demining to support the safe return of internally displaced people
European Union funded project for mine action kicks off in Azerbaijan
February 8, 2023
7 February 2023 - The European Union (EU), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Mine Action Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (ANAMA) launched a new project to support the safe return of internally displaced people (IDP) in Azerbaijan.
With a financial contribution of 4,25 million Euro, the EU is the biggest international contributor to mine action operations in Azerbaijan to date.
The project will help around 33,000 returned families to feel safer and restore livelihoods. The presence of mines and unexploded ordnances (UXOs) prevents safe and voluntary return of IDPs. Therefore, the EU, ANAMA and UNDP have joined forces to train, equip and deploy response teams that will clear mines and UXOs. It will also aim to establish first female demining teams in Azerbaijan. The action will also support training sessions of ANAMA staff in strategy and information management to help save lives and rebuild communities in conflict-affected areas even beyond the duration of the project itself.
IDPs will not only benefit from the project but will also actively participate in it. The new demining teams will be working closely with IDP local communities, and participation of national non-governmental organizations in demining activities will be encouraged.
“Adhering to the principles of peace and security in the region, the Government of Azerbaijan continues its cooperation with international partners, civil society and donor organizations. This project is of particular importance in terms of demining of areas, ensuring the safe and sustainable return of IDPs, as well as capacity building of ANAMA, strengthening its knowledge and skills, and promoting gender-based activities in mine action. We believe that efforts of international partners in the field of combating the threat of mines and joint cooperation within the framework of the implemented activities will contribute to the safe restoration and reconstruction of the territories, as well as the peaceful return of the internally displaced persons who have been displaced from their homeland for many years,” – noted Vugar Suleymanov, the Chairman of the Management Board of ANAMA.
“We are starting this project with the aim to share our continuous commitment to the principle of leaving no one behind. Besides ensuring the safe return of displaced people to their homes, this project is important for UNDP as it will establish the first female teams in Azerbaijan to perform mine action operations with their subsequent involvement in such a vital activity as humanitarian demining," - said Nuno Queirós, Acting Resident Representative of UNDP in Azerbaijan.
For media inquiries, please contact Afet Yagubova, Communications Officer for UNDP in Azerbaijan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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