In the framework of victim assistance, one of the five main pillars of mine action, UNMAS, with the financial support of the Government of Japan, provided assistance to survivors of mines and explosive remnants of war in the DRC by providing orthopedic equipment to Shirika La Umoja handicapped center and income generating kits to survivors. The handover ceremony was held on 26 March2019 at Shirika La Umoja Center in Goma.
This support of approximately USD 50,000 encompassed the provision of equipment and orthopaedic material such as the orbital sander, a pneumatic chipping hammer, a saw oscillating and raw materials such as polypropylene, foam, knits, orthotics and prostheses, thus strengthening the capacity of the Shirika La Umoja Center in the rehabilitation of over 60 survivors. Additionally, income-generating kits tailored to the needs and capacities of 20 beneficiaries from the North and South Kivu provinces were also distributed. These kits consist of commercial products for small trade, livestock for cattling and sewing materials.
Through this generous contribution of the Japanese Government, UNMAS provided assistance to the victims and actors operating in the sector, demonstrating the impact and detrimental effect of explosive devices and uncontrolled weapons on the lives of the communities, and advocating for a dignified life for both survivors and their relatives. This project aligns with the 2019-2023 Mine Action Strategy, which highlights the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
As of 20 March 2019, according to the national database of mine action, the DRC has more than 2,600 victims of mines and explosive remnants of war. UNMAS encouraged all stakeholders as well as humanitarian and development partners to continue to support victim assistance to ensure that survivors can return to a dignified life free from discrimination.
UNMAS in the DRC, through the funding of different donors, supported, between 2010 and 2013, mine action partners in victims identification projects, assessment of their needs, socio-economic support and physical rehabilitation. UNMAS also continues to support the Government of the DRC through the Congolese Center for Mine Action (CCLAM) and the National Commission for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons and Reduction of Armed Violence (CNC-SALW) through capacity building to ensure protection of civilians and, if necessary, assistance to affected communities.