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Danish Refugee Council and Danish Demining Group’s ability to work at grass root level in difficult accessible areas of Somalia gains recognition by the British Government’s development arm. With new UKaid funds, a three-year strategy is being launched to address needs related to community safety, recovery, development, and local governance.
With three interrelated projects forming the basis for new comprehensive efforts in Somalia, Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and Danish Demining Group (DDG) become key partners in Somalia for UKaid, the British Government’s department for international development. More than GBP 12 million (nearly USD 21 million) has been allocated to DRC and DDG to work with community safety and the development of new national policies on security and safety, and further to support community-driven recovery and development, strengthened governance, and peace-building efforts. Part of the activities will be implemented jointly with UNICEF, CARE, and International Rescue Committee.
‘This is clearly an acknowledgement of DRC’s work in Somalia and this new funding allows us to address needs for recovery and development in a more holistic manner. The long term engagement with communities is essential to make real changes, and to build the resilience and local governance capacities of Somali communities,’ says Peter Klansoe, regional director for Danish Refugee Council Horn of Africa & Yemen.
Danish Refugee Council started work in the region in 1998 and is one of the experienced and well-positioned NGOs in Somalia. Today, work in Somaliland, Puntland and South central Somalia is carried out through 17 operational field offices in Somalia.
Danish Demining Group is the humanitarian demining and safety unit within Danish Refugee Council and works at grass root level to improve community safety through a number of initiatives. Today, DDG has become an internationally recognized actor when it comes to humanitarian mine action and Armed Violence Reduction efforts around the world. Activities range from classic demining and the safe removal of explosive remnants of war, to training of communities in conflict zones who are committed to improving their safety and security.
‘The new British funding for the Danish Demining Group on GBP 6 million is a significant acknowledgement not only of DDG, but also of the fact that Somali voices need to be taken into consideration in the development of new national safety and security policies,’ Klaus Ljoerring Pedersen, regional director of Danish Demining Group Horn of Africa & Yemen explains.
Besides engaging with local communities to address safety and security, DDG works to build capacities of local authorities and civil society through training and awareness events. A new weapon lock produced and used in Somalia is another example of recent DDG innovation.
DRC and DDG have built strong relations and networks across the borders in Somalia over the years. This foundation gives unique access to communities in insecure and isolated areas of Somalia as well as in and around Mogadishu where presence and activities are increasing.