Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Dr Win Myat Aye organized a virtual meeting over mine-risk educating programmes in Rakhine State with the state Mine Risk Working Group on 18 January. During the meeting, the Union Minister talked about the establishment of Rakhine State Mine Risk Working Group on 17 August 2020 with the aims of providing mine-risk education and assistance to mine victims.
He said the numbers of mine victims in Rakhine State have been increasing since 2018 and 2019. A total of 53 explosions occurred in Rakhine State in 2019 which killed 19 people and injured 39 while 61 mine explosions killed 45 people and injured 89 in 2020. The numbers of children who faced an explosion of mine increased to 64 in 2020 from 17 in 2019. Rakhine State faced the mine blasts most in 2020. Therefore, it should conduct mine-risk education more. The Union Minister then discussed mine-risk educating programmes in Comprehensive Education Plan for Rakhine State and National Strategy on Resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons and Closure of IDP Camps, the risks of landmine and the explosive remnants of war and the importance of public awareness on their safety. He also highlighted the cash contribution of K200,000 to each of the landmine victims of Rakhine State in 2019 and 2020 and assistance for the people with disabilities.
He discussed the six priority sectors of 2021 set by Mine Risk Working Groups, effective work plans in implementing these six priority sectors, the link between the State peace and development, Social Sector Agreement of Union Accord of 21st Century Panglong Peace Conference signed on 29 May 2017 such as “to create the conditions for the internally displaced people and refugees due to natural disasters, human activities and armed conflicts to be able to settle and live in their homeland or at any other place safely and with due regards”.
He also stressed the importance of humanitarian demining, pilot area for such process, technical aids of UNICEF and international organizations, the crucial role of ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) in conducting mine-risk education at IDPs Camp of Kachin State by cooperating with the relevant state government and cooperation work with ICRC in the processes of mine-risk education and installing of prosthetic limbs.
The Union Minister also stressed the need to conduct public awareness programmes regarding landmines in Rakhine State by Myanmar Red Cross Society and called for suggestions of participants who will cooperate with workgroups, relevant state departments, NGOs and INGOs.
Then, Director-General for Rehabilitation Department U Win Naing Tun, in his capacity as Leader of National Mine Risk Working Group briefed the Humanitarian Mine Action, risks of landmine and explosive remnants of war in conflict areas, the performance of National Mine Risk Working Group and rehabilitation processes. The Rakhine State Social Affairs Minister Dr Chan Tha and other officials coordinated the discussion.
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement established the National Mine Risk Working Group on 27 April 2012 and conducted mine-risk education for the public, Non-Technical Survey (NTS) and Humanitarian Demining.
(Translated by Khine Thazin Han)
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