BOGOTA’, MAY 6 – Ahead of a mission of the UN Security Council in the country, the Italian government confirmed its support for the process of humanitarian demining in Colombia announcing a contribution of Euro 200,000, about 625 million Colombian Pesos.
The funds will be used for two projects. According to the prioritization of the Dirección para la Acción Integral contra Minas Antipersonal (DAICMA), an intervention will be carried out in the municipality of Leiva, in the Department of Nariño, which according to statistics of the Colombian government has a high level of anti-personnel mines still on the ground. Italian Perigeo, one of the eight accredited humanitarian demining organizations, will carry out the project.
Another part of the resources will be invested in the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Colombia to support the technical strengthening of DAICMA and the humanitarian mine-clearing sector.
As a result of more than fifty years of conflict involving various non-state armed actors and criminal groups, Colombia suffers from widespread landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) contamination. Despite a declining trend in the number of mine and ERW victims, Colombia still registered 222 new victims in 2015 and 74 during 2016.
Under the November 2016 Government–FARC-EP peace accord, demining will represent a pre-requisite for planned post-conflict rural development, support the substitution of illicit crops, provide an occupation to demobilised ex-combatants and constitute a form of victim reparation for those sanctioned by the newly established Tribunal for Peace. UNMAS supports DAICMA in coordinating with Government and UN stakeholders to plan for the implementation of these agreements, efforts to reintegrate ex-combatants, and pilot peace projects based on demining.
Since 2015, the Government of Italy has allocated cooperation resources for Euros 830,000 to support the strategic Plan for Action against Antipersonnel Mines in the country, financing Mine Risk Education (ERM) programs, Assistance Integral to Victims (AIV), Humanitarian Demining (DH) and technical assistance and training to the Colombian Armed Forces. (@OnuItalia)