US$2 million plus boost for mine action in Ethiopia

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Sizeable donations from Denmark and Japan will enable the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) to continue humanitarian mine action activities and operations in Ethiopia.

The financial boost from the Scandinavian country is, according to an UNMAS statement, seven million Danish krone (DKK) – over a million US$, with the Far Eastern country committing US$1.19 million.

The Danish funding will go to UNMAS humanitarian mine action to promote peace and safety in northern Ethiopia with the Japanese funding also earmarked for the northern part of the conflict ridden east African country.

The work done by UNMAS personnel in removing landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) as well as training Ethiopians in the skills needed to perform the often nerve wracking work ensures, among others, that humanitarian aid deliveries are not interrupted.

The latest funding boost will ensure UNMAS technical assessment teams continue surveying and tagging dangerous areas as well as gathering accurate information on where explosive ordnance and landmines are. Explosive hazard awareness training for humanitarian personnel involving recognition and mitigating the impact of explosive threats will also continue thanks to the funding influx.

“We are grateful for the continued support of the Government of Japan to build a peaceful and safe Ethiopia and protect its population from the dangers of explosives hazards. UNMAS is engaged in improving security for the people of Ethiopia and co-ordinating humanitarian mine action interventions in the country,” UNMAS Chief of Mine Action in Ethiopia, Francesca Chiaudani, said.

She also thanked Denmark for its contribution, adding mine action was “essential to enable a return to normalcy of education and health systems” among others.

Following the 2020/22 conflict in northern Ethiopia, explosive contamination impacts safety of communities, hampering economic development as it restricts access to land and resources and prevents socio-economic activities.

“Explosive ordnance is widespread across residential areas and sites hosting internally displaced persons IDPs), in communal locations and is found in rubble, posing an immediate risk to life, preventing delivery of humanitarian aid and restricting safe movement and access to basic services,” an UNMAS statement reads in part.