The issue of strengthening the capacities of non-governmental mine action operators in Ukraine was discussed during an online meeting between Yuliia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Economy of Ukraine, and James Cowan, CEO of The Hazardous Areas Life-Support Organisation (The HALO Trust) and representatives of the organisation.
"Ukraine is committed to speeding up the clean-up of the territories as quickly as possible. Today, we are working to strengthen the capacities of government institutions that conduct surveys and humanitarian demining of territories - these are the units of the State Emergency Service, the Ministry of Defence and the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection. We are also interested in strengthening the capacity of non-governmental operators already present in Ukraine and attracting new ones. The Government is committed to creating the most favourable conditions for work in Ukraine," said Yuliia Svyrydenko.
During the meeting, Yuliia Svyrydenko and James Cowan focused on accelerating the clearance of mines and unexploded ordnance in Ukraine, coordinating actions, and strengthening demining capabilities. Today, Ukraine has 17 demining vehicles and about 2,600 deminers, of whom about 1,600 are engaged in surveying and demining priority areas. Given the amount of contaminated areas and the scale of work, this is insufficient. More vehicles and specialists are needed to speed up demining. Therefore, building the capacity of both governmental institutions and non-governmental operators is a crucial task.
The parties also discussed practical issues of optimising survey and demining activities, which can significantly speed up the process, plans to attract donor assistance, etc.
The day before, Yuliia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Economy of Ukraine, met with Ukrainian and foreign operators who are already engaged in demining in Ukraine. The participants addressed current issues of humanitarian demining and ways to solve them. In particular, the issues of certification of operators, nostrification of education of foreign specialists, etc. As a result, they agreed to resolve the issues that the operators face promptly.