Netherlands wants to eradicate landmines within 10 years

Every day, 10 people are killed by landmines. Besides claiming such a substantial number of lives, landmines form an obstacle to post-conflict reconstruction efforts. Foreign trade and development cooperation minister Lilianne Ploumen said: ‘The devastating impact of landmines doesn’t stop when the violence ends. Emergency workers are left unable to reach the places where they’re needed, refugees can’t return home and farmers can’t access their land. Before peace and stability can return, these deadly things have to be cleared away.’ This is why the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is supporting 3 major demining projects in 13 countries.

Every day, 10 people are killed by landmines. Besides claiming such a substantial number of lives, landmines form an obstacle to post-conflict reconstruction efforts. Foreign trade and development cooperation minister Lilianne Ploumen said: ‘The devastating impact of landmines doesn’t stop when the violence ends. Emergency workers are left unable to reach the places where they’re needed, refugees can’t return home and farmers can’t access their land. Before peace and stability can return, these deadly things have to be cleared away.’ This is why the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is supporting 3 major demining projects in 13 countries.

The Netherlands is one of the largest donors when it comes to demining, and wants to see landmines eradicated within 10 years. In the last 4 years almost 52 million m2 of land have been demined thanks to the Netherlands, and more than 2 million people have been educated about the dangers of landmines. More than 5,000 families have received victim support, 114 ambulances were purchased and 425 nurses trained to care for landmine victims.

The new demining projects announced today will focus on researching and demining landmine areas, supporting victims and their families, and providing education. Projects are being launched in Afghanistan, Colombia, DRC, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya, the Palestinian Territories, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Ukraine.

Demining is a priority for Ms Ploumen and foreign minister Bert Koenders. A total of 45 million euros has been made available for 3 demining projects run by The HALO Trust, Mines Advisory Group and Danish Church Aid, 10 million euros of which is earmarked for acute demining in conflict zones like Iraq and Syria.