The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) ran an initial programme in Ukraine between 2007 to 2013, focusing on the protection of asylum seekers and refugees, as well as the capacity building of government and civil society. After the beginning of the conflict in the Donbass region of Ukrainein 2014, DRC reopened its offices, this time with the Danish Demining Group (DDG) as part of the programme.
DDG is undertaking a series of urgent humanitarian interventions to reduce the risk of mine and ERW related accidents amongst the conflict-affected population. DDG is currently running a targeted mine risk education (MRE) “training of trainers” project aimed at training school teachers in the delivery of MRE as a part of their regular curriculum, in order to increase the safety and security of school-aged children and their parents in both Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts.
DDG has also just begun Non-Technical Survey operations in six regions, in order to assess the presence, nature, and extent of contamination from mines and ERW in conflict-affected communities in these areas. The information gathered by the teams will be used to analyze and plan where follow-on clearance interventions need to be prioritized.
DDG is also engaged with capacity building the State Emergency Service (SES) – a national entity under the Ministry of the Interior in Ukraine conducting mine action activities. The project aims to equip and train selected SES teams to an IMAS-required level, and will help ensure that SES teams are able to address contamination in an efficient and safe manner.
DDG Ukraine currently runs operations out of offices in Severodonetsk and Mariupol, and has their head office in Kiev.
DRC and DDG Ukraine teams consist of approx. 20 international staff with sectoral and humanitarian expertise combined with over 100 national colleagues with technical skills and invaluable knowledge of the context enabling DRC/DDG to provide the best possible assistance to those in need.
Innovation in Mine Action Through Digital Platforms
In addition to abovementioned activities, DDG is designing, developing and piloting an innovative two-way communication web portal and parallel SMS service that aims to improve the service provision and information exchange between conflict-affected people and the mine action operators assisting these communities.
Through the project Mine Action Applications (MApps), the SES will have platforms for providing dynamic MRE, providing safety alerts to mine and ERW affected communities, and allowing for new means of handling reports. The affected communities will be able to report any suspected dangerous items they have discovered in their community directly to the SES.
MApps Ukraine is part of a global pilot project on digital applications for mine action. More information about the global project can be found by clicking here. MApps Ukraine is being implemented in close partnership with the SES in Mariupol and Kyiv.
Further information on DRC’s activities in Ukraine can be found here: http://drc.ngo/relief-work/where-we-work/ukraine/