The Government is trying to attract as many operators as possible to clear the territory of Ukraine of mines in the shortest possible time. This was reported by the First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine - Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yuliia Svyrydenko on air of the national telethon Yedyni Novyny (United News) on April 4, the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action.
"Given that about 174,000 square kilometers of our land are now potentially contaminated with explosive devices, it will take us years to clear it all and eliminate the consequences of the war. We have World Bank estimates that were presented last week, which show that we need more than USD 37 billion to clear Ukraine of explosive ordnance. Now our task is to open this market for Ukrainian and foreign operators to speed up the pace of demining," said Yuliia Svyrydenko.
According to the official, the Government has identified demining as one of the five key priorities for the country's rapid recovery, in which Ukraine will be assisted by partner countries. This should help increase opportunities for farmers to plant crops and speed up the rebuilding of infrastructure.
"For us, demining is no less important than the restoration of social and critical infrastructure. Without demining, we cannot start restoring housing and conducting the sowing season. Now partner countries are joining this process. Some of them invite demining operators to Ukraine, supporting and financing their work, some countries provide us with demining vehicles, and those who do not have such technical capabilities are financed at the appropriate account on the United24 platform. These funds will be used to purchase special equipment that should speed up the process of demining Ukrainian territories," added Yuliia Svyrydenko.
Currently, demining in Ukraine is carried out by both government agencies, such as the SES and the Ministry of Defense, and private operators. In total, more than 30 countries and partner organizations provide support to Ukraine in the area of humanitarian demining. Almost 350 demining teams involving Ukrainian and foreign specialists are already working. The Government's task is to engage as many more people as possible to work in this market to speed up the process. "At the Government level, we have established an Interagency Working Group to coordinate international technical assistance and to interact with the Ministry of Defense and the State Emergency Service to prioritize demining. This is the second sowing season during the great war, and it is important for us to go through it as efficiently as possible. There are 2.6 million hectares of agricultural land in the country that need to be cleared. We have identified 470,000 hectares of land in Ukraine as priority in nine regions of Ukraine, where we have started demining," summarized Yuliia Svyrydenko.
To recap, the Priority Demining Plan envisages humanitarian demining in Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Sumy, Kharkiv, Kherson, Chernihiv and Cherkasy regions.