Ukraine is launching a new state policy for the humanitarian demining of territories. The country also plans to create a coalition of states to help in this area. Prime Minister Denys Shmygal stated this at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on April 4.
The head of government noted that after the start of a full-scale war, Ukraine has become the most contaminated country in Europe with mines, bombs and shells.
“Explosive objects are dotted with about 174 thousand square kilometers of our land. It’s like half the territory of Japan, one and a half of Greece or two squares of Austria,” Shmygal said.
According to the minister, in the last month alone, 724 people were blown up by enemy mines, of which 226 died.
In addition, a large number of fertile lands are not suitable for cultivation. The crops of these lands could feed more than 80 million people worldwide.
Shmyhal stressed that Ukraine needs a quick and thorough humanitarian demining of territories.
“We have already formed a regulatory framework, stepped up the work of the National Mine Action Authority, created an Interdepartmental Working Group on Humanitarian Demining, approved a demining plan for more than 470,000 hectares of agricultural land in nine regions of Ukraine,” the head of the Cabinet of Ministers said.
The Prime Minister noted that about 350 demining groups are engaged in this. Experts neutralized about 320 thousand explosive objects. So, the Nikolaev region became the first region where humanitarian demining of agricultural lands began.
At the same time, the second sowing campaign begins in Ukraine during a full-scale war. Farmers have already sown more than 500,000 hectares. In total, they hope to sow more than 13 million hectares this year.
With this in mind, the Cabinet of Ministers is starting to implement a new state policy in this area, the key elements of which are:
- updating national mine action standards;
- an effective state demining program with territory priorities;
- creation of a market for demining services, competition between demining operators, attracting the maximum number of international operators with the help of financial support from allies;
- educational and communication campaigns;
- active involvement of innovative technologies.
The government instructed to create a separate structure – the State Center for Humanitarian Demining, which will participate in the planning of mine action measures and ensure the operation of the demining quality management system.
In addition, Ukraine is creating a broad coalition of countries that will help ensure that the demining process does not last decades. The first need is financial resources.
According to the World Bank, the full range of humanitarian demining works will cost $37.4 billion. Only the needs for the current year reach more than 397 million dollars.
Ukraine has already received $16 million in international technical assistance and has preliminary agreements for another $73 million.
The prime minister also noted the prospects of the format of patronage of the G7 countries over the mined regions of Ukraine. According to him, this will contribute to the return of life to the de-occupied territories and will allow the implementation of other restoration projects, in particular, critical and transport infrastructure.