Demine Ukraine

A new portal on humanitarian demining, Demine Ukraine, was presented on June 21 in Kyiv at a formal event. This web resource brings together all information on the topic: News, extensive analysis of contaminated and demined areas, international support for demining, and the regulatory framework. Towards the end of this year, an electronic certification service for landmine action operators will be launched.

The presentation was opened by Ihor Bezkaravainyi, Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine; Simone Troller, Deputy Head of the Cooperation Section of the Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine; and, Victor Liakh, President of East Europe Foundation.

«We did not have a place where all the information on mine action in Ukraine was collected», said Mr.Bezkaravainyi. «Much of the information was available at the State Emergency Service, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and in various web resources of our international partners. The portal is exactly the solution that will finally allow us to build a comprehensive landmine action information system, bring order to the navigation in this system, and regularly update and collect important data on this topic».

Ms. Troller, noted that Switzerland has been supporting Ukraine’s digitalization for more than 10 years and helping to overcome challenges.

«Humanitarian demining allows people to return to their homes and, as far as possible, to normal life», said Ms. Troller. «Safe and demined territories are the basis for rebuilding communities: Agriculture, social infrastructure and economic activity. That is why, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Swiss-Ukrainian EGAP program has been involved in supporting humanitarian demining in Ukraine. EGAP stands for E-Governance for Accountability and Participation Program».

Mr. Liakh emphasized the scale of the problem of humanitarian demining in Ukraine.

«One day of fighting in Ukraine is one month of humanitarian demining. Let’s look at the calendar. Today is the 849th day of the big war. So, we have decades of work ahead of us».

He added that no country can cope with such a challenge alone. The Swiss-Ukrainian EGAP Program, which has been implemented by East Europe Foundation since 2015 and whose goal is to support Ukraine’s digital transformation, could not stand aside.

«We are grateful to Switzerland for taking a step forward and, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, agreeing to support initiatives that stand at the intersection of digital technologies, innovations, and urgent needs in civilian security and humanitarian demining», said Victor Liakh. «Today, we are presenting the portal, Demine Ukraine. So please test it, use it and give us feedback. What is still missing on the platform, how we would like to supplement and improve it. This feedback is important to us, because our goal is to make a really useful resource for all sector players that will help us in our daily work».

Mr. Liakh discussed initiatives in humanitarian demining implemented under the EGAP Program. These include the mobile application, Demining Ukraine, which more than 20,000 users have installed; an online certification service for landmine action operators, to be launched this year; geospatial data analytics; and, the information campaign, Watch Your Step!

The event was attended by representatives of the Main Directorate of Mine Action in Ukraine, Civil Protection and Environmental Safety of the Ministry of Defense, HALO Ukraine, DRC for Humanitarian Disarmament and Peacebuilding, the United Nations Development Program’s Mine Action Program in Ukraine, the National Mine Action Authority, the National Association for Humanitarian Demining and the Association of Deminers of Ukraine.

During event discussion panels, speakers discussed the importance of standardization in landmine action and the joint efforts of all stakeholders and international partners to clear Ukraine and make it safer for civilians.

Web resource was created in partnership with the secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine, and with support of the EGAP program, funded by Switzerland and implemented by East Europe Foundation.