UNDP and the Netherlands forge $10 million partnership for mine action in Ukraine

High-level delegation arrives to kick start project with State Emergency Service of Ukraine

December 16, 2023
Photo: Viacheslav Kychatyi / State Emergency Service of Ukraine

Kyiv Oblast, 16 December 2023 – In a landmark development for Ukraine's recovery and safety, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands announce a new partnership, marked by acontribution of $10 million towards mine action in Ukraine. The initiative will focus on accelerating the clearance of landmines using state-of-the-art technology and bolstering Ukraine's capacity to manage mine action operations.

At a time when Ukraine urgently needs to expand its mine clearance capabilities, this partnership is particularly significant. The State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU) is currently augmenting its mine action teams, with a substantial portion of their equipment – approximately 80 percent – being funded through initiatives supported by the UNDP. The forthcoming demining season will see the deployment of 280 SESU teams, with this partnership ensuring that 202 of these teams are fully equipped for their vital work.

Marking a new era of collaboration, this partnership incorporates cutting-edge solutions such as artificial intelligence (AI) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for mine detection and clearance. It reflects a unified commitment by the UNDP and the Netherlands to achieve a vision of a Ukraine free from the perils of landmines, ensuring its security and prosperity. The partnership's launch was marked by a visit from a high-level delegation from the Netherlands to SESU, where they witnessed firsthand the advanced equipment and methodologies being employed in humanitarian demining efforts.

Netherlands Minister for Trade and Development Cooperation Geoffrey van Leeuwen said during the visit that mine action is a critical step towards ensuring a safe and prosperous environment for business and agriculture, the backbones of a thriving economy. “Our contribution reflects our commitment to supporting Ukraine in creating a secure and productive landscape, which is fundamental for both local communities and international trade," he said.

UNDP Resident Representative Jaco Cilliers said the initiative will save lives while paving the way for crucial socio-economic development. "With the generous support from the Government of the Netherlands, are set to significantly advance mine action in Ukraine,” he said. “By clearing landmines and unexploded ordnance and reclaiming land, we are opening doors to renewed business activities, agriculture, and community rebuilding, essential for the country's recovery."

Bohdan Drapiatyi, Deputy Minister for Internal Affairs of Ukraine, expressed gratitude for the support that strengthens and expands the demining of Ukrainian territory: "Ukraine sincerely appreciates all international partners who provide support and diverse assistance in mine action, as this contributes to saving lives and safeguarding the well-being of our people."

The initiative involves developing specialist training programmes for mine detection dogs, trauma management, and clearance techniques in various challenging environments. This comprehensive approach underscores the commitment to equipping teams with the equipment, skills and knowledge necessary for safe and effective demining operations.

Media enquiries:  

Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Head of Communications; e-mail: yuliia.samus@undp.org