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Poland Renews Its Assistance to the Emergency Response in Gaza through Support to Explosive Hazard Risk Mitigation

30 Oct 2018

The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) welcomes an additional contribution from the Government of Poland in support of mine action activities in Gaza.

The security situation in Gaza remains extremely dangerous for local communities in the form of renewed clashes and increasing presence of remnant explosive hazards. Since 2009, military escalations between Israel and Gaza have endured, with the most severe conflict occurring in 2014 leaving behind thousands of items of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW), including bombs, rockets, mortars and ammunition. All civilians are at risk, but especially young people seeking places to play. UNMAS delivers programming that protects vulnerable communities from these dangerous unexploded items.

As part of a multi-donor action in Gaza, the contribution from the Government of Poland will enable UNMAS to strengthen its clearance operations, and deliver risk awareness messaging to local communities and UN personnel. The Government of Poland has also contributed funding to support the global coordination role of UNMAS.

“The scale of the worldwide threat posed to civilian population is alarming,” noted the Permanent Representative of Poland to the United Nations, Ambassador Joanna Wronecka. “Mine action plays a critical role in the peace and security agenda; it enables humanitarian response and sustainable development. Poland wholeheartedly supports the efforts of UNMAS to protect civilians, including women and children, humanitarian personnel and peacekeepers from the threat of mines and ERW,” she added.

UNMAS Director, Agnès Marcaillou, welcomed this support: “Poland has been a strong ally of UNMAS, both politically and financially. We are grateful for their continued contribution to mine action and look forward to our continued partnership.” 

Established in 1997, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) leads, coordinates and implements activities to mitigate the threat posed by mines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices.  In recent years, UNMAS has supported and continues to provide assistance in Abyei, Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Darfur, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, the State of Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and the Territory of Western Sahara.