Canada Delivers Demining Suits [Archives:1999/20/Law & Diplomacy]

May 17 1999

Colonel Kassim Al-Shaibani, Head of the National Committee for Demining, officially announced the reception on Tuesday, May 11th, of five of ten demining protective suits. He added that the rest of the suits will be sent soon.
On hand for the hand-over were Mr. Fouad Gohery of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and Mr. P. William Dysinger, Country Director of Adventist Development & Relief Agency (ADRA) Yemen office.
The Canadian government has played a prominent role in leading world efforts to stop the production, distribution, stockpiling and use of anti-personnel land mines. The Canadian drive has now shifted focus to help countries worldwide clear land mines and rehabilitate victims.
Yemen is one of the recipient countries of such Canadian assistance. The assistance is channeled in one of two ways. Direct bilateral assistance – such as the protective suits – are handled in collaboration with the National Committee for Demining through ADRA. “Our country has good relations with Canada and we hope that the Canadian government will continue in this useful assistance.”The other channel for Canadian assistance is the multilateral program which is managed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Mr. Fouad Gohery said that the Canadian government contributed approximately Can$ 600,000 from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to the UNDP-managed demining effort. The money will be used to survey land mine victims and propose action plans to help them.
ADRA is an international NGO that has been operating in Yemen since 1994. ADRA is primarily working in programs to improve the health and welfare of the Yemeni people.
During the past four years, ADRA has concentrated its effort in three districts – Hais, Khokha and Jabal Ras – all in the Tihama plain of Hodeidah governorate. It works with the local offices of the Ministry of Public Health to improve immunization, control of diarrhea and nutrition programs for children under five years, and to assist mothers in improving literacy, health knowledge and home economics. This is done through a small loan program for women.
ADRA/Yemen became involved with the demining program by serving as a vehicle to channel assistance to the National Committee for Demining. Through its office in Canada, it has became the recipient of a grant to provide assistance to land mine accident survivors. This will primarily be in the form of community based rehabilitation to victims of serious accidents and referral of the most serious cases to orthopedic centers for re constructive surgery, prostheses or other appliances, and medical rehabilitation and vocational training. ADRA will later assist the survivors in integrating back into their communities as productive citizens.
ADRA/Yemen received the five very sophisticated protective suits on May 10 and turned them over on May 11th to Colonel Kassem Al-Shaibani. The suits were immediately transported to Aden where they will first be used in a training program on their use. Mr. Al Bennett, from Med-Eng Company in Canada was in Aden during May 10-13 where he provided training to the Yemeni demining engineers.
At another level, Canadian non-resident Ambassador to Yemen, Mr. Daniel Hobson, is in Sanaa to further push bilateral cooperation. He has seen a number of senior officials in this regard.
By: Yusuf Sherif
Yemen Times.