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Context of the project:
The battles of El Alamein, took place in July 1942 on the Egyptian soil, have had a tremendous importance on the course of World War II.
Yet, it has also left behind a vast amount of unexploded ordinances and other remnants of war that affect an estimated 5,100 square kilometers of land in the North West Coast and have claimed 8,313 casualties (697 killed and 7,616 injured)
This contamination of the North-West Coast and its inland desert in the Governorate of Marsa Matruh causes as well as a huge obstacle to the socio-economic development of the region.
The European Union has been working in close partnership with the UNDP and Executive Secretariat for Demining and Development of the North West Coast affiliated to the Ministry of International Cooperation s by brining resources to the project entitled “Support to the North West Coast Development Plan and Relevant Mine Action – Phase II”.
The EU-funded project has worked along three main pillars: demining, victims' assistance, and mine risk education.
The project has already reached relevant results in those fields:
A total area of 1 096 km² has been cleared and is paving the way to the establishment of an eco-oriented city, the 'New City of Alamein' aiming for sustainable development, exploring water desalination and other renewable energy methods. This city will include touristic, residential, industrial, business, medical and educational zones; which will create over 275 thousand job opportunities for an expected population of 400 thousand inhabitants.
Regarding direct assistance to victims, the establishment of an artificial limbs fitting and maintenance centre in Matruh represents a great achievement for mine victims; 64 victims were provided with spare parts, 62 victims were fitted with new artificial limbs and 8 victims received wheel chairs. By providing easy access to mine victims, it reduces effort and expenses on their side for the smooth and periodical maintenance of artificial limbs fitting.
In addition, capacity building trainings were provided to five local non-governmental organisations. Two Mine Risk Education campaigns were also organised for the benefit of more than 85 thousand inhabitants, including students, teachers, opinion leaders, and community leaders, and 11 training courses were organised for trainers along the north-west coast.
Quote from Ambassador Ivan SURKOŠ, Head of the European Union Delegation to the Arab Republic of Egypt: (in the context of the celebrations of the 75TH anniversary of the battles of El Alamein – El Alamein, 20 October 2017)
"Egypt has not been left alone to address the risk caused by these explosives remnant of war. The EU-financed project has reached relevant results in all aspects of mine action. We can take pride of them, since they tremendously impact on the quality of life of the people of the Governorate of Marsa Matruh. Efforts need to be continued in order to make explosives remnant of war something of the past in Egypt's North West Coast"