Ukraine's allies commit $244 mln for humanitarian mine clearance

11 months ago 17

 Ukraine's allies have committed to allocating $244 million and providing special equipment for the purpose of humanitarian mine clearance, First Deputy Prime Minister Yulia Svyrydenko said on Tuesday.

"Our task is not only to demine the entire territory in order to save people's lives, but also to speed up this process," Svyrydenko, who is also economy minister, said in a statement on the government's website.

"This is a question of economic recovery, because the sooner we return potentially mined lands to circulation, the faster business will develop on them," she said.

She said the donors included the United States, European Union, Japan, Germany, Britain, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, Austria, Switzerland, Korea and the Howard Buffett Foundation.

Russia's full-scale invasion, launched in February 2022, has left swathes of Ukraine strewn with mines and dangerous war detritus.

View of a mine-warning sign as a Ukrainian service member demonstrates clearing a minefield using a remote control for the Armtrac 400 demining machine, capable of clearing 2,400 square metres per hour, amid Russia's invasion, in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine October 27, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/CLODAGH KILCOYNE)

The US State Department estimated in early December that some 160,000 square kilometers (62,000 square miles) of Ukrainian land needed to be checked for explosives hazards. That is nearly half the size of Germany.

The equipment is needed so civilians can return to their lives

Humanitarian demining, according to the United Nations, refers to clearing "land so that civilians can return to their homes and their everyday routines without the threat of explosive hazards."

Svyrydenko said Ukraine would receive by the end of the year 10 demining machines from Croatia's DOK-ING engineering firm and another 10 from the Swiss-based Global Clearance Solutions.

International partners have also committed to supplying hundreds of metal detectors and pyrotechnic machines, as well as individual demining kits and gear.

There were also agreements with DOK-ING and the Danish HYDREMA machinery firm regarding locating production in Ukraine.

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