Denmark supports demining in Ukraine
Denmark announced a contribution of $1.6 million to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to strengthen Ukrainian coordination of mine clearance and clearance of unexploded ordnance.
The project will help ensure that existing national institutions are able to effectively respond, lead and manage the complex challenges of making the land safe again for human habitation and agriculture.
The project is implemented jointly with the National Mine Action Authority of the Government of Ukraine and the Ministry of Interior, in collaboration with sister UN agencies and mine action partners.
Manal Fouani, UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine, said Denmark’s timely investment in Ukraine’s mine action sector will be used to design and implement effective national-level mine action to Ukraine, based on international best practices, and to thoroughly assess the nature and extent of explosive ordnance contamination and its impacts on local populations.
“The current situation seriously challenges decades of human and economic development in Ukraine on a growing part of the national territory,” Fouani said. “Any economic activity aimed at returning this land to productive use will have to take this into account.”
Although the government has been involved in demining in eastern Ukraine (Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts) since 2015, it now has to deal with a much larger area.
Danger to the breadbasket of the world
Ole Egberg Mikkelsen, Danish Ambassador to Ukraine, said strengthening Ukraine’s ability to respond to the ongoing crisis is a primary concern. “Ukraine’s future ability to grow food will largely depend on its ability to return its land to productive use as soon as conditions permit,” he said. “Otherwise, what was once the breadbasket of the world could become a net importer if its fields become too dangerous to cultivate.”
The project, which is part of UNDP’s extensive mine action program in Ukraine, will also build the capacity of mine action authorities across the country and target outreach and communication to ensure that the general public and local authorities are well informed of the risks and safety measures. approaching contaminated sites.