Netherlands Supports DCA’s Emergency Response in Derna

The Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands will support DanChurchAid (DCA)'s Libya’s Humanitarian Mine Action programme to deliver a 12-month intervention to contribute to human security in and around the city of Derna in Libya.

A total of 50,000 square meters of priority residential, utility supply, medical and educational sites will be handed back to Derna’s communities through survey and clearance activities.

An additional 25,000 citizens in Derna will receive information on the dangers of explosive remnants of war through Risk Education sessions and media campaigns.DCA expects that at least 50% of beneficiaries will be women.

Months of intense fighting have left Derna’s infrastructure severely damaged and the city heavily contaminated with the explosive remnants of war (ERW). Over 19,000 citizens of Derna were displaced to surrounding towns and are now wanting to make a dignified return.

“The displaced people of Derna are anxious to return to their homes,” said Graeme Ogilvy, programme manager for DCA Libya. “The families that have already started making their way back to the city face extreme danger from unexploded ordnance which surrounds their homes and blocks access to basic services, including education and medical treatment.”

The Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands will contribute EUR 1.5 million to DCA Libya’s Humanitarian Mine Action programme. DCA will focus on removing landmines and other unexploded ordinance in and around the city of Derna, as well as to mitigate accidents related to war debris.

Previously the Dutch Government has supported DCA Mine Action projects in the city of Sirte and is currently funding a mine action project in the city of Benghazi.

“This contribution from the Netherlands means that we can educate the local population about the risk of explosive remnants of war, as well as clear residential areas, hospitals and schools of landmines and other unexploded ordnance” Ogilvy concluded.

“We are proud of the confidence that the Dutch government has shown in us and look forward to continuing the partnership which we have in several countries. For this particular grant in Libya we look forward to save lives and create awareness about the immense risks that explosive remnants pose to a civilian population. Jointly we will be successful,” says Birgitte Qvist-Sørensen, General Secretary of DCA.

The Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Libya, Ms. Kappeyne van de Coppello confirmed that is important to continue a strong partnership with DCA. “We find it very important to contribute to safer livelihoods for all Libyan citizens, in both East and West. Together with DCA and its implementing partners we can make this happen”.

Ms. Kappeyne van de Coppello continued: “Demining activities are challenging. I am therefore especially impressed with the courageous Libyan women and men that work in this field, reaching so many people, including many children with life- and limb-saving programs of mine risk education and mine clearance.”

(Source: DCA)

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