The UN Development Program (UNDP) and the Dutch Embassy in Lebanon signed two mine action agreements with Lebanon’s Ministry of National Defense on Monday.
The UNDP-led agreement targets the humanitarian and development consequences of mines, cluster bombs, and explosive remains of war, as well as giving the Lebanese Mine Action Center more capacity (LMAC).
The three-year donation agreement between the Netherlands and Lebanon covers the entire cost of the Lebanese National Mine Action Program (LMAP).
Deputy Prime Minister, Caretaker Minister of National Defense and Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Zeina Akar, indicated that the signature of these agreements came at a time when mines and explosive remnants of war were still causing innocent casualties, let alone remained a lingering threat to the safety of citizens.
She lauded the UNDP and the Netherlands’ unrelenting efforts combating this dangerous issue and their continuous endeavors to reduce the number of victims.
In turn, Celine Moyroud, the UN Development Program’s Resident Representative in Lebanon, thanked all parties who had helped to bring these agreements to fruition, emphasizing the importance of the agreements “In the field of demining, a long-term partnership between the Ministry of Defense, the Lebanese Army, and the United Nations Development Program.
She also emphasized the significance of assessing the goals that have been met, stating that the assistance that will be provided “is consistent with the new LMAC approach.””
She also lauded the Lebanese Army’s skills, particularly the National Office for Demining, which was ranked second in the world for mine clearance.
Hans Peter Van Der Woude, the Dutch Ambassador to Lebanon, reaffirmed his country’s support for this “vital project.”
“The Netherlands was one of the first countries to support the mine-clearing project, and it continues to support it now, and it calls on Lebanon to join the Ottawa Convention for a mine-free world,” the Dutch envoy added.
He also stated that his country supported the development of the Lebanese army’s capabilities. “Lebanon has made significant progress in combatting and removing mines,” he continued.