A visit to Scotland’s HALO Trust by International Development Secretary Priti Patel, has seen the organisation praised for taking the lead in bringing British ingenuity and bravery to mine clearance in some of the world’s most fragile countries.
Ms Patel visited HALO’s Headquarters, based just outside Dumfries, this week and took the opportunity to praise the organisation’s work and dedication to the local economy. The visit coincided with an announcement of £8.1M of Government support as part of an extension to the current Global Mine Action Programme, helping to make 15M sq m of land safe again, which is delivered by HALO, MAG and Norwegian People’s Aid.
The work will also help educate communities – especially children – on the dangers of living with landmines.
HALO Trust is one of the leading global NGOs on demining. Since 1988 the HALO Trust has destroyed over 1.6M landmines and nearly 12 million unexploded ordnance.
During the visit Ms Patel met with many local businesses who contribute to Britain’s lifesaving work overseas and help to create jobs in the UK.
This included Penman Engineering who make armoured vehicles; Soltyre, bespoke tyre makers for rough terrain; and ScotJCB who make heavy duty machinery. Local companies in Dumfriesshire have benefitted from over £5M of business from the HALO Trust over the past ten years.
International Development Secretary Priti Patel said: “Landmines are indiscriminate weapons of war that maim and kill innocent children every day. Scottish organisations like HALO Trust are at the forefront of the UK’s efforts, bringing British ingenuity, determination and bravery to save lives and make some of the world’s most fragile countries safer and more stable.
“I’m pleased to have met with so many of the local companies that provide the specialist equipment HALO needs to carry out its dangerous and difficult work – they represent the best of British expertise.
“By involving British businesses in our lifesaving work overseas, we are supporting local economies right across the UK and helping to create and protect jobs.”
Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said: “This is a great example of how the UK’s aid commitment to help those most in need around the world also works here at home in our national interest. Scotland is at the heart of the UK’s international aid efforts – with hundreds of staff working in East Kilbride as well as contracts going to many Scottish companies.
“The companies working with the HALO Trust are making a real contribution to some of the poorest communities on earth – and in doing so are creating jobs and driving growth in Scotland. This is just one example of why our aid strategy is so important and why we are so proud to be meeting our commitment as a world-leader in international aid.”
Image: k1777 / Shutterstock.com
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