Nearly a year into the war in Ukraine, civilians have suffered tremendously. As the country faces a humanitarian catastrophe, HALO is at the forefront of the effort to protect those affected by the war.
Your support has made it possible for us to respond to the ever-changing situation in Ukraine. We continue to educate millions of Ukrainians on how to stay safe from dangerous and often hidden explosives- through our digital safety campaigns on social media, as well as our risk education sessions on the ground in Ukrainian communities. We are doubling our workforce to meet increasing needs for the removal and destruction of unexploded ordnance littering streets, roads, gardens, fields, and buildings.
With the help of partners like Esri and Trimble, we are using innovative technology to support our work and map safe passage for other humanitarian organizations delivering aid to thousands in need. HALO staff are also continuing their work providing direct medical and humanitarian aid and mapping safe and hazardous areas to share with the public about what areas are not safe and to avoid.
Thanks to you, the impact of The HALO Trust has resulted in countless lives being saved. HALO teams continue to work hard in Ukraine to save lives, and we look forward to keeping you updated.
As the scale of contamination in Ukraine continues to increase, the Ukraine program is in the midst of a major expansion. HALO has secured a new operating base in Brovary, which will serve as a major logistics hub. By the end of 2023, our body of staff in Ukraine will nearly double to 1,200 individuals. As the number of our operational teams continues to grow, we also plan to expand our operating base, training bases, and support offices as needed. Once fully established, depending on the state of security on the ground, we will be able to expand our support to hundreds of Ukrainian communities— and save millions of lives.
“When I started working for HALO two and a half years ago, I enjoyed the feeling of waking up every morning and understanding that your life has meaning. Now at the time of full-scale war in Ukraine, it’s more important than ever.”
Our scaled presence will not only keep people safe, but employ local Ukrainians like Dariia, ensuring they have access to meaningful jobs amidst a destroyed economy.
Dariia initially chose teaching as a profession and had just graduated with a Masters in Physical Education when she joined HALO as a deminer in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine. Two and a half years later, she is Team Supervisor in Non-Technical Survey (NTS), relocating with HALO to the Kyiv region following the outbreak of the war.
Her work is the vital first step in finding and safely removing the lethal mines and explosives left behind from the devastating fighting across the country.
Large areas of Ukraine in the north, east and south are now heavily contaminated with various types of explosives. These include tripwire-initiated hand grenades, anti-personnel mines, and anti-vehicle mines. Crucial energy infrastructure has been targeted as well, leaving millions without power as frigid winter sets in. The urban nature of much of the clearance (including booby-trapped homes) is different from the more traditional mine clearance work that our teams in Ukraine previously undertook, and we are recruiting and training staff to meet this challenge. Even after the fighting stops, dangerous unexploded landmines, cluster bombs, and rockets pose a high threat to millions of families looking to return home. As areas are liberated, the work of survey and clearance may begin— so families may return home and farmers may work their fields without fear.
Thanks to our donors, HALO teams have already made safe almost 105 acres of land. That is the size of over 39 soccer fields and is benefitting tens of thousands of Ukrainians who live locally.