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World’s No 1 landmine clearance charity pivots to emergency COVID response

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The HALO Trust, the world’s largest humanitarian landmine clearance charity, is mobilising its fleet and workforce to deliver urgent medical and sanitation supplies as Covid19 spreads to low income and conflict-affected countries.

The HALO Trust is one of the few British NGOs to operate in active conflict zones such as Libya and Syria. It is also well placed to provide Covid19 interventions in many remote areas and unrecognised territories which could be vulnerable due to poor access and lack of state infrastructure.

HALO has an extensive fleet of ambulances and off-road vehicles and a workforce of over 8000 staff in 21 countries and four unrecognised territories, as well as several remote border regions.

This will involve activities including:

  • Delivering soap, hand sanitiser, PPE, medical supplies and medical personnel to remote communities

  • Providing ambulances and tents for medical staff accommodation and emergency field hospitals in countries with fragile healthcare systems

  • Mobilising mine risk community educators to promote hand washing and other personal sanitation messaging

Major General James Cowan, CEO of the HALO Trust said:

The world is experiencing one of the worst crises since the Second World War and we are living through unprecedented times. However, no country can fight coronavirus in isolation. I believe donor countries should come together to provide assistance to countries which are already deeply burdened by conflict, population displacement and high levels of food insecurity. The lack of even basic healthcare systems in some of these places will cause disastrous results. As the world’s largest Mine Action Charity, HALO has the logistic, survey, risk education and planning resources to play an important part. It also has the grit to reach the places that are likely to be forgotten. But it would be wrong to act alone for too long: HALO would welcome DFID’s leadership and initiative and we look forward to playing our part in the UK international response.

For further information or to arrange a skype or WhatsApp interview with James Cowan or HALO personnel in the field please contact Louise Vaughan
at louise.vaughan@halotrust.org or 07984 203075
or paul.maccann@halotrust.org