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On International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, UNICEF calls for commitment to greater protection of children and families in Myanmar

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Nay Pyi Taw, 4 April 2017- On the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, UNICEF and members of the Mine Risks Working Group emphasised the sad record of landmine victims in Myanmar. Over the last 2 years, there has been 298 reported landmine casualties. This means one every 3 days. One out of 3 has been a child. In one out of 4 cases, this meant death. And many incidents go unreported.

“The toll of landmines on individuals is extremely high. In addition to the psychological impact and daily difficulties associated with lifelong disability, the cost is enormous. A child losing her/his leg at the age of 4 will need 50 prosthesis in the course of his/her life” said Bertrand Bainvel, UNICEF Representative to Myanmar. “We must do everything to reduce exposure to landmines and explosive remnants of war, and provide necessary and long-term support services to survivors”, said Mr. Bainvel. 

While strong partnership between the Government, UNICEF and civil society organisations helped deliver life-saving Mine Risk Education (MRE) to 115,000 people in 9 contaminated States and Regions in 2016, efforts and funding must be increased and sustained. Last February the 2017 Mine Action Portfolio for Myanmar was launched in Geneva, with an appeal for USD 5.9 millions towards MRE, Victim Assistance, Capacity-building, Information Management and Land Release activities.  

“We must also recognise the economic impact land mines have on essential sectors for Myanmar economy, such as agriculture and tourism. Mines are standing on the way to Myanmar’s path to sustainable development” Mr. Bainvel added. “Not only is Mine Action a humanitarian imperative, it is also a key strategy for development”. 

On the International Day, UNICEF urges all parties to the conflicts to immediately stop laying new mines, and start mine clearance wherever it is possible. “Myanmar shouldn’t wait for all aspects in peace negotiations to be solved. The more mines are laid, the more children and communities will be robbed of opportunities and life. And the more difficult and costly it will be later to clear the land” concluded Bainvel.  

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About the Myanmar Mine Risks Working Group (MRWG)

The MRWG was established in 2012 as an inter-ministerial and inter-agency coordination platform under the co-leadership of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement and UNICEF to ensure mine action interventions (MRE, Victim Assistance, Information Management, Land release activities) are aligned with international standards and lessons learned in Myanmar. The MRWG comprised 10 ministries, the Army and 41 national and international organizations, and 4 State-level coordination platforms are established in Kachin, Shan, Kaya and Kayin.

About the Mine Action Portfolio

The United Nations Portfolio of Mine Action Projects is a unique online resource for donors, policymakers and service providers. It is a dynamic compilation of over twenty country and territory portfolios, which provide information on the current status of mine action in the country, project proposals, including the funding status. Its purpose is to serve as a reliable source of the most relevant and recent information on mine action programmes around the world. In Myanmar, the Mine Action Portfolio Coordinator is UNICEF. 

For more information, visit: http://www.mineaction.org/resources/portfolios 


UNICEF in Myanmar

UNICEF has been working with the Government and the people of Myanmar since 1950. In partnership with the Government and the civil society, UNICEF’s current focus of work aims at reducing child mortality, improving access and quality of education and protecting children from violence, abuse and exploitation. For more information about UNICEF and its work in Myanmar. 

Please visit: https://www.unicef.org/myanmar 

Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unicefmyanmar 


For more information please contact:

Htet Htet Oo, Communication Officer, Advocacy, Partnerships and Communication Section, UNICEF Myanmar, 09250075238, hoo@unicef.org.

 

 

 
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