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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Scottish charity assigned to clear mines and other explosives

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The HALO Trust will now utilise funds set aside by the government last month.

A charity that is working in Ukraine to remove debris left behind by the ongoing invasion by Russia has received £300,000 of Scottish Government funding.

The HALO Trust, which is headquartered in Dumfries and Galloway, has more than 10,000 de-miners worldwide and is now utilising some of that expertise in war-torn Ukraine using the funds committed in the Programme for Government 2022-23.

Calvin Ruysen, The HALO Trust’s director of programmes said: “We are extremely grateful to the Scottish Government for supporting our work in Ukraine. The humanitarian need there is great and we are rapidly expanding our teams to deal with contamination from landmines, cluster bombs and other explosives left behind when the fighting moves on.

“The Scottish Government’s support will contribute to growing our workforce of trained Ukrainians so they can get out on the ground to make more of their own communities safe.”

Speaking during a visit to The HALO Trust, where he watched a demonstration of how specially trained staff detect and clear mines, Minister with special responsibility for Refugees from Ukraine Neil Gray said: “When the acting Ukrainian Consul General told the Scottish Government that clearing mines and unexploded ordnance was a priority for his government, we knew we needed to help.

“As well as saving lives, the work to be carried out by The HALO Trust will improve food security in Ukraine by enabling famers to safely farm their land again.

“The Scottish Government is already doing as much as it can to resettle displaced Ukrainians refugees in Scotland. However, it is imperative that we turn our attentions to the situation in Ukraine itself, and I would like to thank The HALO Trust for taking on this essential work.”