The Ministry of Internal Affairs calls on international partners and donors to be more actively involved in demining in Ukraine. This was stated by Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Mary Hakobyan during a meeting with a delegation of the UN Office for Project Services.
Mary Hakobyan thanked the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the entire UN system, its agencies and institutions for supporting the Ministry of Internal Affairs in responding to challenges faced by the Ministry in the context of military aggression of the russian federation, primarily in clearing the territories from explosive hazards.
“We have already had several rounds of concrete and fruitful dialogue and seek to agree on our joint roadmap on humanitarian demining for the next six months to a year. We call on our international partners and donors to engage even more actively in the process. Since one third of the country is mined, the pyrotechnic units of the State Emergency Service are working around the clock, some of them – actually manually. Now the key need is the appropriate technical equipment of the units, first of all, with robotics. 40 pyrotechnic units of the SES need basic equipment,” the Deputy Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs emphasized.
She informed the partners that the number of rescuers has doubled since the beginning of the year. Currently, it is planned to increase the staff of the Service by another 500 specialists. Every day, pyrotechnics of the SES inspect an average area of about 70 hectares, and since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of the russian federation they have checked more than 760 square kilometers of territory.
According to Mary Hakobyan, SES pyrotechnics alone have already neutralized about 300,000 explosive items. In addition, demining units of the National Police, the National Guard and the State Border Guard Service are also involved.
In turn, Deputy Head of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine Dmytro Bondar spoke about the critical situation in the east and south of the country, in particular in the de-occupied territories of Kharkiv, Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, where many settlements have been destroyed and the infrastructure is completely mined. He stressed that the main task of pyrotechnics of the State Emergency Service in these regions is humanitarian demining of vital facilities for further restoration of energy and gas supply, communication. And now there is an urgent need for appropriate technical support for pyrotechnics to perform work on which the lives of civilians and the restoration of the regions as a whole directly depend.
Amir Omeragic, Head of the UNOPS delegation, Director of Peace and Security Cluster, noted that, in particular, thanks to Mary Hakobyan’s report at the donor conference in Switzerland, organized by the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining on November 28-30, international partners and donors have a clear idea of the scope of work carried out by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Emergency Service.
“Now Ukraine is the most explosive contaminated country in the world. And we understand the scale of the needs. Therefore, in Geneva we have already started communication with donors, drawing their attention to the fact that the future and success of demining activities in Ukraine depend on the effective work of the relevant government agencies,” said Amir Omeragic.
He also informed that UNOPS is preparing a prospective international technical assistance project.
Jes Luckett, Head of the Mine Action Unit of the UNOPS Peace and Security Cluster in Ukraine, said that it is planned to equip 15 pyrotechnic teams. Currently, the types and models of equipment, its quantity are being defined for further sourcing of the necessary funding.