Landmine clearance project to cover contaminated cities & villages in liberated territories
Azerbaijan is taking serious steps toward de-mining its liberated territories, Azernews reports, citing Special Representative of the Azerbaijani President for Shusha Aydin Karimov.
He was speaking at an event to support increasing the capacity of the Azerbaijan Mine Action Agency (ANAMA).
"Since the liberation of our territories, we have started the de-mining process. Simultaneously, we have begun the construction and creation of an energy network and other socially important facilities. Shusha is an integral part of our country, and we will continue to take all necessary steps to restore it as soon as possible," he said.
Another speaker, Sultan Hajiyev, Senior Consultant of the Department for Work with NGOs, and Communications under the Presidential Administration, stressed that Azerbaijan is ready to expand cooperation with international organizations.
"Our country has a huge experience in the field of mine clearance, which we are ready to share with other countries. Last year, we proposed adding a humanitarian mine clearance paragraph to the Sustainable Development Goals," Sultan Hajiyev said.
Chairman of ANAMA Vugar Suleymanov gave information about demining proses and noted that 64,000 hectares of land have been cleared of explosives and mines in Azerbaijan's liberated Karabakh.
"Other countries and international institutions support Azerbaijan financially, as well as provide the country with technology, equipment, and other means required in the de-mining process. Moreover, ANAMA is ready to share its experience with other countries," he said.
Suleymanov added that 282 Azerbaijanis suffered from Armenia-laid landmine explosions and 46 of them died.
UNDP (the United Nations Development Program) Resident Representative in Azerbaijan Nuno Queirós stated that the new landmine clearance project will cover all cities and villages contaminated with landmines.
"This project is expected to cover around 20 liberated cities in Azerbaijan. We are also working to improve the skills of personnel, create maps, train dogs, as all these are important to support Azerbaijan in its landmine clearance activities," he added.
He said that the new landmine clearance project will allow over 3,000 former internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Azerbaijan to their native lands.
He also noted that the funds of the European Union (EU) were invested in the implementation of this project.
"We thank the EU for the assistance and the investment of 4.25 million euros, thanks to which more than 3,000 people will be able to return to their homelands. This project is being implemented by the UNDP in cooperation with ANAMA and the Government of Azerbaijan," Queirós added.
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