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 Ukraine in 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 as outlined below:
Mine Risk Education:
DDG is currently running a widespread MRE campaign aimed at reaching those most at risk, living close to the line of conflict in the east of the country. Mine awareness and safety messages are spread via a multi-channel approach using mass media (social media / online, TV, print, radio) as well as direct sessions, training of trainers (primarily for school teachers in affected areas), as well as the use of ‘Peer to Peer’ methodology, specifically targeting teenagers.
Since 2016, DDG began to conduct non-technical survey 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 is passed to the authorities and directly helps to inform the prioritisation process for annual clearance plans in Ukraine.
DDG directly deploys its own clearance capacity in high-priority, targeted areas in order to clear land and release it back to its original owners.
Efforts are coordinated with DDG’s sister organisation, DRC, in order to bring livelihoods support and community development projects to contaminated communities in order to amplify the benefits of clearance.
Support to National Partners:
DDG also works closely with the State Emergency Service (SES) as a key national civilian stakeholder in the clearance of landmines and unexploded ordnance, coming under the Ministry of Interior. The programme aims to equip and train selected SES teams to the level dictated by Ukrainian National Mine Action Standards (based closely on IMAS) which are in the
process of development and enforcement. The ultimate aim is to convert the deep experience of the SES in emergency / rapid clearance, to that which can readily be deployed within the context and requirements of sustained humanitarian mine clearance operations.
Mine Victim Assistance:
In 2018 DDG and DRC, initiated a pilot project to assess the potential for a victim assistance intervention in Ukraine.
The assessment revealed concrete needs across a broad spectrum from victims’ physical and psychological needs to the way in which victims can be officially recognised as such by the Government of Ukraine.
As a result, DRC-DDG is expanding its programming in this area to address the most immediate needs.
DDG Ukraine currently runs operations out of offices in Severodonetsk, Slovyansk and Mariupol, and has their head office in Kiev
Further information on DRC’s activities in Ukraine can be found here: http://drc.ngo/relief-work/where-we-work/ukraine