"The HALO Trust is deeply concerned by the escalation of hostilities in Ukraine. Our thoughts are with our 430 local staff and their families at this difficult time. We would remind all parties to the conflict that HALO is a neutral, humanitarian organisation that removes the deadly debris of war to prevent suffering and protect civilians. We have been making communities safe in eastern Ukraine since 2016."
After eight years of conflict, landmines and explosives continue to threaten the lives of families in eastern Ukraine. Since 2014, HALO has recorded nearly 2,000 casualties—men, women and children—suffering life-changing injuries or even death. Just last year, a family of four was killed when their car hit an anti-vehicle mine.
As the fighting moves back and forth, villages become battlegrounds on the frontline, leaving vast areas of agricultural and forest land littered with explosives once the battle moves on. As the conflict restricts access to the important industrial cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, it is vital that this land is made safe, so that villages like Kodema, where Lubov lives in eastern Ukraine, can begin to recover.
Lubov, Kodema village, Ukraine
HALO employs over 400 local men and women in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, many of whom come from mined communities where people have been plunged into poverty because they can no longer access their land.
Since 2016, our teams have removed hundreds of explosive items, from landmines to cluster bombs, spread across 420 hectares of land. We are also mapping and marking dangerous areas and have begun using machinery to help us clear battlefields and buildings damaged in the fighting. In addition to making land safe, we deliver risk education, helping people, particularly children, understand how to stay safe.
Aleksandr, deminer, Ukraine
Aleksandr*, a HALO deminer, owns ten hectares in the village of Shyrokyi. Before the conflict, he and his family used to grow fodder to feed their livestock. But when landmines stopped them from reaching their property, they struggled to survive. Now, with his HALO income, life is getting easier.
*Name changed to protect privacy.