Canada and UN launch new mine awareness project

Posted April 15, 2020

Photo: Oleksandr Ratushniak

Kyiv, 15 April 2020 The United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine (UNDP) under the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, with financial support from the Government of Canada, is launching a new project in eastern Ukraine that aims to boost national mine action capacities in Ukraine.

Six years after the beginning of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, mines and explosive hazards still cause deadly casualties and lead to injuries among civilians.

OHCHR reported that in the period from April 2014 to December 2019 more than 1,000 people were involved in mine-related incidents: 327 civilians died, and 750 more were injured.

According to OHCHR, in 2019 alone, 17 people died and 42 were injured in mine-related incidents in eastern Ukraine, and Ukraine remains one of the most mine-contaminated countries in the world. Massive territories along both sides of the “contact line” are still highly polluted with landmines and explosive hazards, depriving civilians of safe access to farmland, schools, and services.

The presence or suspicion of landmines, booby-traps, anti-vehicle mines, cluster munitions, or any other kinds of explosive remnants of war (ERWs) is adversely impacting civilians’ lives, disrupting basic infrastructure and services in many parts of eastern Ukraine, and exposing the lives of civilians,  especially the most vulnerable – children, the elderly and people with disabilities – to severe danger.

The project will focus on enhancing mine risk prevention via improved and up-to-date education and awareness-raising activities; improving the mine action information management system so that all actors have equal and easy access to it; providing much-needed psychological support to landmines survivors and helping them recover; continuing effective coordination of mine action operational activities in support of the Government of Ukraine through the Protection Cluster (Mine Action sub-cluster); providing strategic support to the Government of Ukraine in drafting a National Mine Awareness Strategy, and assisting regional and local authorities in developing targeted Mine Awareness programmes on the ground.

“Even amid these very challenging times, when the world’s focus has shifted towards new challenges imposed by a global pandemic, we have to promptly react and properly address the challenges facing the vulnerable, and the troubling number of mine-related incidents can’t be overlooked,” said Victor Munteanu, the manager of UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme in Ukraine.

“The lives and safety of all people, especially the vulnerable, is a priority for us,  and this project, launched with the support of the Government of Canada, is yet another important step forward to making communities in eastern Ukraine safe, and sustaining peace and security in the region over the long term,” he added.

Media enquiries

Maksym Kytsiuk, Communications Associate, UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, maksym.kytsiuk@undp.org, +380 63 576 1839

Background

The United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP) is being implemented by four United Nations agencies: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

Twelve international partners support the Programme: the European Union (EU), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.