Italy pledges €250,000 to clear mines in Sudan
In a joint press statement from Khartoum today, the United Nations Mine Action Service (Unmas) and Italy announced a grant from the Italian government of €250,000 to support UN mine action work in Sudan.
The he grant will enable a project aimed at reducing casualties among the Sudanese population and humanitarian field workers in Kassala province. Unmas will survey, clear and destroy landmines and other contamination, and undertake a risk education campaign targeting affected populations.
Unmas Programme Manager in Sudan, Habibulhaq Javed, described how the money will impact and help the people of Sudan. “This contribution will enable Unmas to clear and release 900,000 suqare metres of land in the Talkok locality, Kassala province, and will allow us to provide risk education to 5,000 people.” The contribution will also support Unmas to strengthen the National Mine Action Centre’s capacity for quality assurance and project management, resulting in increased national ownership.
“Mines are threats to the life of people but also socio- economic obstacles for the growth of Sudan.”
Italian Ambassador to Sudan, Fabrizio Lobasso, stated: “Italy is committed to support mine action activities globally and is concerned about the threats caused by landmines and other explosive hazards in Sudan. We hope our support will contribute to creating a safe and secure environment. Through this initiate we want to increase a culture of peace and development. Mines are threats to the life of people but also socio- economic obstacles for the growth of Sudan.”
The Ambassador highlighted the new role played by the Government of Italy: “As the Chair of the mine action support group, we encourage other donors to join us in supporting this and other UN mine action programmes.”
Javed of Unmas stressed the importance of the support from Italy. “Unmas would like to show our sincere appreciation for the support from the Government of Italy to our mine action activities in Sudan. Since Unmas returned to Sudan in 2015, this is the first grant that our newly launched programme has received.”
In addition to Darfur and Abyei in Sudan, Unmas currently supports mine action programmes in, Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, State of Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and the Territory of Western Sahara.
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