Launch of 2014 Portfolio for Assistance in Humanitarian Mine Action And Arms and Ammunition Mangemet
The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the Libyan Mine Action Centre (LIBMAC) launched the 2014 Portfolio for Assistance in Humanitarian Mine Action and Arms and Ammunition Management, seeking to raise from international donors an additional US$17 million for this year to support efforts to rid Libya of the explosive remnants of war.
The 2011 conflict in Libya exacerbated the threat of explosive remnants of war and contributed to the illicit proliferation of ammunitions and weapons. The efforts by UNSMIL and LIBMAC aim to create a safer and more secure Libya through a reduced threat from explosive remnants of war, weapons and unsecured ammunition by enhancing clearance and disposal operations.
At the launching ceremony in Tripoli on 12 March 2014 that was attended by contributors and potential donors from the international community, LIBMAC Director Colonel Mohammad Torjman presented an overview of the Libyan Mine Action Centre (LIBMAC) and the funding envisaged for 2014.
“The threat that Libya faces is vast and as you are aware the problem has surpassed the borders of Libya to the neighbouring countries,” he said. “It is only fair to say that urgent action is a must to control the situation and address the problem.”
Colonel Torjman noted that the mine action sector suffers from severe lack of funding, with US$4 million have been secured so far.
“I regretfully declare, that it is impossible for Libya to meet its commitments towards freeing the country of mines, Unexploded Ordnance and Small Arms Light Weapons beyond the national authorities’ control, without additional funding to make up for the shortages in the resources required to implement the proposals for the coming period,” he warned.
The program is looking for an additional US$17 million in 2014, said Mr. Diek Engelbrecht, Head of UNSMIL's Arms and Ammunition Advisory Section.
“We are all very much aware of the threat that exists in Libya. That threat is not going to away by itself,” he added. “Let us support the work that needs to be done.”
The launching of the portfolio was attended by representatives from Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands, South Africa, the United States and the European Union.
UNSMIL, UNICEF and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) also attended, as well as International Non-Governmental Organizations Danish Church Aid (DCA), Danish Demining Group (DDG), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Fondation Suisse de Déminage (FSD), Free Fields Foundation (3F) , Handicap International (HI), Mines Advisory Group (MAG), and MECHEM, a contractor for UNMAS.