The presence of mines, cluster munitions and explosive remnants of war (ERW) continues to pose a great threat to civilians in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). To mitigate the risks associated with explosive devices, the Korean Agency for International Cooperation (KOICA) provided a generous support of USD 2.6 million to UNMAS for the 2018 to 2019 period. This funding will enable UNMAS to continue to support the DRC government in its efforts of protecting civilians, particularly in the Eastern part of the country which is exposed to the dangers of explosive devices, through its project "Consolidation of peace and stability in the DRC through the reduction of explosive devices and armed violence". The official launching ceremony of this project took place on Friday, 15th of February 2019 at the Sultani Hotel in Kinshasa in presence of the Vice-Minister of Interior and Security, the Ambassador of the Korean Republic, the KOICA Country Director and UNMAS Programme Manager in the DRC.
This contribution from KOICA will also enable UNMAS to conduct threat mitigation activities for the benefit of local communities, displaced persons and refugees in areas contaminated by mines and ERW. The project is targeting 3 particularly affected provinces: Tanganyika, South Kivu and Ituri. To this effect, UNMAS will carry out several activities, namely: Mine, ERW and Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) Risk Education, Non-Technical Surveys, Explosive Ordnance Devices spot tasks and capacity building of local NGOs and the Congolese Mine Action Centre (CCLAM).
During the opening ceremony, the project document was signed between the KOICA Country Director and the UNMAS DRC Programme Manager. According to the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in the DRC, this project is consistent with 3P principles that the Republic of Korean advocates “People, Peace and Prosperity”. In his speech, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea highlighted that this project will meet the humanitarian needs of the affected population. The Vice-Minister of Interior and Security welcomed the cooperation between DRC and Republic of Korea and encouraged UNMAS and KOICA to efficiently implement this project for the benefit of local communities.
Since 2002, UNMAS has supported the Government of the DRC, through the Congolese Mine Action Centre (CCLAM), in its responsibility for coordination, regulation and planning of mine action activities as well as in its mission to make the country free to mines before 2021 in order to fulfil its obligations under the Ottawa Convention.
KOICA contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focusing specifically on SDG 5 and 16 and promoting equity and sustainable development in partner countries. It wishes to participate in the global effort to build the capacity of nations and individuals to combat the deadly devices that prevent communities from undertaking activities contributing to peace and development.