«PROTECT CIVILIANS AND HELP AFFECTED PERSONS», MINISTER VADYM CHERNYSH TALKED ABOUT WHAT MTOT DOES IN FIELD OF MINE ACTION»
Thousands of square kilometers stay mined in Donbas, demining operation can last for decades, and constant shelling by illegal armed groups complicates the situation. What can be effectively done today: protect the civilians by providing mine risk education, and also helping affected persons
Vadym Chernysh, Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine, talked about MTOT's plans on realizing these measures on 14 June 2019 during an event organized by the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine "Humanitarian Mine Action: OSCE's Help to Mitigate Conflict Effects for People"
The Minister noted that, according to MTOT data, at least 977 civilians were killed by mines and explosive remnants of war hazards and 1528 were injured during the period of armed conflict.
Taking into account this situation, the immediate and urgent task is to take measures to warn the civilians about contaminated territories, marking of these territories and conducting mine risk education, especially for children and youth in educational institutions.
For the first time, the State allocated targeted funding for such measures in 2019 in the amount of 5 000 000 UAH, and MTOT is responsible for allocation of these funds.
As part of this funding, mine risk education will be conducted for children and adults - employees of enterprises, farmers, information campaigns, marking of territories, etc. Part of the activity will cover the entire area of JFO, and coordination groups will be created for communities near the contact line, that will implement a wide range of mine action measures. Previously, we selected 10 communities: Stanytsia Luhanska, Novoaidar, Toshkivka, Shchstia, Talakivka, Bilohorivka, Kurakhove, Sartana, Vokhnovakha, Komyshuvata
Another important issue is the assistance to persons affected by mine and explosive remnants of war hazards. Unfortunately, nowadays at the state level there is no integrated targeted assistance program for people affected by mines and explosive ordnance. Therefore, MTOT in close cooperation with the non-governmental organization «Proliska» with the support of the Government of Switzerland is launching the project «Assistance for persons affected by mines and explosive remnants of war hazards».
The project provides the assistance to affected persons in monetary form, which is targeted at:
- purchasing the necessary medicines,
- payment for medical, physical and psychological rehabilitation services,
- professional retraining,
- other measures aimed at restoring and compensating for broken or lost functions of the body.
It is a pilot project and for Ukraine it is the first targeted assistance to affected people. MTOT and the NGO "Proliska" plan to start realization of the project in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts within a few weeks.
During the event, the Minister Vadym Chernysh also thanked OSCE for fruitful cooperation with the Government of Ukraine in many respects «Today, exactly 20 years since the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe has been working in Ukraine. The main thing in our cooperation is that Ukrainians are receiving advanced services and assistance. The OSCE has become a reliable partner in field of mine action, because pf providing aid in building the system and assisting mine action operators, those who work directly in the contaminated areas», Minister noted.
All participants of the event, including Ambassador Henrik Villadsen, OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine, Marek Varga, Deputy Head of the Slovak OSCE Chairmanship Task Force, Rachel Williams, Regional Counselor on Conflicts at the British Embassy in Ukraine, also noted the importance of institutional developments of Ukraine in field of mine action, which will ensure its development, and most importantly contribute to the preservation of life and health of people.
During the event demonstration of modern mine action equipment and handing over OSCE equipment to MTOT took place, which was acquired under the project «Development of Ukraine's mine action capacity», in particular, computer equipment for the implementation of Information Management System for mine action – IMSMA system.