Portsmouth MP Penny Mordaunt announces £46 million plans to fight landmines in Africa and Asia

Female deminer Winai Ndaradzi in Zimbabwe. Picture: HALO
Female deminer Winai Ndaradzi in Zimbabwe. Picture: HALO
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The British Government have pledged £46million in international aid to help fight the threat of landmines across the world. 

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt announced the additional aid funding today (August 6) which will help protect more than 820,000 people from the threat of barbaric relics across war-ravaged communities in Asia and Africa.

Penny Mordaunt, Portsmouth North MP and international development secretary

Penny Mordaunt, Portsmouth North MP and international development secretary

International Development Secretary said: 'The crippling legacy of fear, mutilation and devastation, which landmines leave, must be wiped out for good.

‘UK expertise and innovation are helping to shield vulnerable people from these barbaric relics and liberating land contaminated by these devices.

‘This will allow the poorest people to grow crops, walk their children to school without fear and ultimately give them back control over their lives.

‘The British public should feel immense pride in their critical contribution, at a time when unprecedented numbers of innocent people are dying as a result of these brutal indiscriminate killers.’ 

The programme will support deployment of UK aid funded technology, including radar detectors, which will help trace ammunition in the equivalent of more than 16,000 football pitches.

Remote controlled machines, such as the Mine Wolf, will also help clear cluster bombs more rapidly.

Manufactured in Newcastle, the eight-tonne Mine Wolf is a remote-controlled mine-clearing machine used in high risk areas. It can clear up to 12,000 square metres a day.

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The aid funding will also help train all-female demining teams, often in areas where many of the men have died in conflict.

Hundreds of women from impoverished communities are being empowered through skills training in landmine clearance, vehicle mechanics and paramedic first aid to protect their communities.

These projects will boost local employment, recruiting men and women from communities where alternative job opportunities are severely limited.

UK support will also help educate a further 280,000 men, women and children about the dangers of landmines, an essential lifeline to safeguard entire communities from mutilation or death.

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Chief Executive of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) Jane Cocking said: ‘Global deaths and injuries from landmines have hit a ten-year high.

‘Today, one person every hour is killed by a landmine and almost half are children.

‘These new funds will help us to rid some of the world’s most conflict-affected countries of landmines, cluster munitions and other unexploded weapons at a crucial time, impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

‘As well as saving lives, this support will ensure vast areas of land can be returned to communities, improving lives and ensuring safe access to housing, education and medical facilities.'