The Italian Cooperation Directorate has approved 7 humanitarian demining projects envisaging mine clearance operations and providing assistance to victims in Countries with serious conflicts or struggling with delicate peace-making processes. The projects, comprehensively worth almost 2 million euros, concern the following Countries: Afghanistan, Somalia, Colombia (2 projects), Palestine, Sudan and Bosnia Herzegovina. They will be implemented by the principal multilateral partners active in this sector, especially the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Organization of American States.
The aforesaid activities strengthen the leadership role assumed by Italy in defusing and clearing explosive devices, as testified by its 2015-2016 Presidency of the Group on Mine Action, which periodically meets in New York with the task of defining the international lines of action in this sector.
Actions on the ground – which are essential in stabilising the Countries concerned and to making vast areas usable for economic purposes, in favouring the safe return of refugees and dislocated people and fostering agricultural and livestock breeding activities – are supported with advocacy actions aimed at promoting the universalisation of mine clearance treaties. To this end, Italian Cooperation has approved 2 projects – for an overall value of 340,000 euros – promoted by the Italian Campaign to ban landmines and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining.
Italy is one of the few Countries in the world that has a law on humanitarian demining (Law No. 58 of 2001) which annually allocates an ad hoc contribution to finance this type of activity, which is managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.