ITF and Slovenia's Development Cooperation
The Government of the Republic of Slovenia is among major ITF donors. With regular yearly donations for ITF projects it has contributed more than 16 million EUR out of which over 5,4 million EUR was contributed through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Between 2021 and 2023, an additional amount of 1,520,000 EUR is allocated for the following projects:
- Enhancing Psychosocial Wellbeing of Children from Ukraine (more information)
- Medical Rehabilitation of a Victim of Armed Conflict in Ukraine (more information)
- Support to Mine Detection Centre (MDC) Polyclinic in Kabul, Afghanistan (more information)
- Activating human resources for support of people in Gaza Strip and West bank (more information)
- Mine and Explosive Remnants of War Risk Education (MRE) for Syrian Refugees in Jordan (more information)
- Medical Rehabilitation of Children from Belarus (more information)
- Support of ITF Representative Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) (more information)
- Explosive Hazards Clearance and Agricultural Recovery of Cleared Areas in Northeast Syria (more information)
- Addressing the Needs of Vulnerable Groups in Lebanon (more information)
- Enhancing of Cyber Security in Kyrgyz Republic (more information)
- Psychosocial Rehabilitation of Children - Victims of Armed Conflict in Nagorno Karabakh (more information)
- Psychosocial Rehabilitation of Refugees from Ukraine (more information)
- Medical and Psychosocial Assistance to Ukrainian Refugee Children in Moldova (more information)
- Explosive Remnants of War Clearance in Iraq (more information)
- Medical Rehabilitation for Victims of Armed Conflict in Ukraine (more information)
Click here for more information and insights on Slovenia's Development Cooperation programs.
Enhancing Psychosocial Wellbeing of Children from Ukraine
The so-called Ukrainian crisis with its salient international implications, erupted in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. In spite of the Minsk agreements, attempts to provide a peaceful resolution to the conflict, and a significant reduction of hostilities in certain parts of eastern Ukraine recently, the political and security situation remains uncertain and poses an immediate threat to human safety. These traumatic events cause severe psychological distress and negatively impact the mental health and psychosocial well-being of the most vulnerable group – children.
In order to address the needs of children affected and traumatized by the conflict in Ukraine, ITF is implementing a project for the enhancement of their psychosocial well-being.In the next two years, 142 conflict affected children facing trauma and other psychosomatic disorders will be included in intensive psychosocial rehabilitation programs at Debeli rtič, Slovenia.
Medical Rehabilitation of a Victim of Armed Conflict in Ukraine
The so-called Ukrainian crisis having salient international implications erupted in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. In spite of the Minsk agreements and attempts to provide a peaceful resolution to the conflict, hostilities continue to pose an immediate threat to human security. Although we have in the last few months seen a significant reduction of hostilities in certain parts of eastern Ukraine, the political and security situation still remains uncertain.
At least 10,225 people have so far lost their lives and 24,541 people have been wounded (out of which at least 182 children) in east of Ukraine according to the UNHCHR statistics, while actual numbers are likely to be higher due to severe unexploded ordnance contamination. Humanitarian situation is dire with many people struggling to satisfy the basic needs and with government struggling to provide medical assistance. In an exemplary case, ITF provided aid and physical rehabilitation to a girl who lost her left leg in 2015 during the conflict in Mariupol, Ukraine. So far, the girl has undergone five phases of medical rehabilitation and received a regular below-knee prosthesis and a secondary prosthesis to be used in water. However, due to her continuous growth, rehabilitation requires a sustainable and comprehensive approach in order to enhance her general health and well-being. This also helps lay the foundation for the long-term reintegration process. The project, which will continue in 2022, has been co-financed by the Republic of Ireland and private donors.
Support to Mine Detection Centre (MDC) Polyclinic in Kabul, Afghanistan
In the shadow of never-finished wars, Afghanistan remains one of the poorest countries in the world. 50% of the population lives 1 hour on foot away of the closest medical facility and 37% of the population lives 2 hours away. Based on statistical data, 74% of medical services must be paid for which demonstrates an issue of accessibility. Health issues are often associated with fertility, with an extremely high birth mortality rate. In addition, transmitted diseases account for half of all deaths in Afghanistan.
The project of supporting the MDC Polyclinic in Kabul started in 2016 and in the last few years has been co-financed by the Republic of Korea. It enables free healthcare support to deminers and their families as well as the population of Kabul. The care includes physiotherapeutic, gynecological, and dental services as well as examinations and consultations. During 2020, more than 13,000 physiotherapeutic, gynecological, and dental services were provided to Kabul citizens. Additionally, radiological, laboratory and pharmaceutical services were provided. The project specifically focuses on services for women and children who cannot afford healthcare. MDC Polyclinic successfully adapted to work under the COVID-19 epidemic conditions.
In the next two year period, over 15,000 gynecological and dental servicesare planned to be provided to the most vulnerable Kabul citizens through the support of Republic of Slovenia.
Activating Human Resources for Support of People in Gaza Strip and West Bank
Since 1948, generations of residents in Gaza Strip and West Bank have been subject to repeated conflict and displacement. Thousands of civilians were injured during the conflicts, with the large majority of children/young adults especially in Gaza Strip. Although the physical and medical rehabilitation system has been developing through the years in Gaza Strip and West Bank, injured persons, especially children, were still unable to benefit from proper treatment and the use of medical devices. Families are constantly under strain and repeated traumas without allowing the time for a proper recovery process to take hold.
The current project co-financed by the Republic of Korea, is primarily aimed at activating human resources for physical rehabilitation and psychosocial support of people in Gaza Strip and West Bank. It will contribute to professional skills of experts in physical medicine and rehabilitation and educate and empower them for providing psychosocial support to their clients. In addition, it will activate resources for assistance to children and other persons in need by educating and empowering mentors - school teachers and NGO workers for development of voluntary work of youth and implementation of school based and community based voluntary activities of youth.
Mine and Explosive Remnants of War Risk Education (RE) for Syrian Refugees in Jordan
The latest UNHCR data shows that Jordan is host to 659,673 registered Syrian refugees (about 2,200 less than in the same period one year ago) and that in addition to Turkey, it is the country with the largest number of refugees per capita in the world (89 refugees per 1,000 inhabitants). An indirect consequence of the armed conflicts in Syria is the extensive contamination of the areas with mines, ERW and other unexploded ordnance. ERW contamination is one of the most urgent factors preventing and hindering the safe return of refugees to their home environment. With the recent voluntary repatriation of Syrian refugees, the needs for a safe return are more important than ever. The presence of COVID-19 pandemic in Jordan deteriorates the humanitarian situation even more and requires additional efforts to improve their livelihoods.
The aim of the two-year project in 2021 and 2022 is to raise awareness of the risks and dangers of mines/ERW, to promote safe behaviour among a target group of approximately 12,000 Syrian refugees, children and adults, living in Irbid Province, Jordan, and to minimise the number of potential victims of mines/ERW upon returning to their home country. In addition, Syrian refugees will also receive basic education on preventing the spread of infectious diseases (COVID-19).
Medical Rehabilitation of Children from Belarus
Chernobyl is infamously marked as the worst nuclear accident in history. The radioactive particles from the explosion in 1986 still present a serious health risk to the lives of many people. Medical estimates suggest up to 4,000 people will die prematurely due to radiation exposure and thousands more still suffer health effects, primarily in today’s Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
ITF, on the basis of agreement between the Governments of Belarus and Slovenia and in cooperation with the Slovenian Red Cross, has been implementing a medical rehabilitation project for 60 Belarusian children aged from 7 to 14 years that have suffered consequences of radiation as a legacy of the 1986 nuclear accident in Chernobyl. Since 2015, 179 children received comprehensive medical rehabilitation in Slovenia through ITF. In the 2021-2022 project period 60 children will attend and complete the medical rehabilitation program containing inter alia respiratory physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, and a rich educational and social gathering program that improved their health as well as their general well-being.
Support of ITF Representative Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH)
The ITF Representative Office in BIH has been active in-country (BIH) since 1999 by supporting the national mine action strategic goals through implementation of ITF’s mine action humanitarian mission. This mission is executed through a combination of demining, raising mine/UXO contamination awareness, mine/UXO victims' assistance, rehabilitation and national capacities' support. In addition, ITF's activities also include evaluation, monitoring and communication as well as coordination with the donors/embassies and BIH institutions.
A decade since the start of war in Syria, humanitarian needs throughout the country remain highly complex, and are even increasing on account of the pandemic and the deepening economic crisis. With this project, ITF aims to support the stabilization in Northeast Syria by helping improve overall security, livelihoods and food security in areas affected by explosive hazards contamination. Through its programming in the Al Hasakah Governorate that is considered the breadbasket of Syria, where fields, pastures and orchards are frequently contaminated by explosive hazards and therefore not used, ITF will be supporting local economy and community resilience. ITF intends to adopt a two-phased approach; firstly, the goal is to enable safe access of farmers and shepherds to agricultural land, and secondly, the goal is to follow-on by supporting agricultural revival through the provision of technical assistance, agricultural inputs and/or know-how. Implemented in 2021 and 2022, this project will build on a complementary initiative ITF has been carrying out with support from the Austrian Development Agency since 2020.
The Syrian crisis has increased Lebanon's population by 28% in less than five years, contributing to the already severe socio-economic situation and putting serious pressure on already overburdened public services and host communities, including health and education services and access to employment. Lebanon currently hosts about 1.5 million refugees, mostly from neighboring Syria (UN / Government of Lebanon). This situation was further exacerbated by this year’s explosion in the Port of Beirut with devastating health, psychological and material consequences. Vulnerable groups in Lebanon (including mine/ERW victims, victims of the Beirut explosion, Syrian refugees) urgently need long-term support, while the current COVID-19 pandemic is heavily overloading health services in the country.
The project addresses the urgent health, psychosocial and economic needs of 185 vulnerable individuals in Lebanon to help improve the overall quality of their lives and facilitate their reintegration into social, political and economic life.
With the cooperation of our partner Viris, ITF is conducting train the trainers workshops aimed at teaching future experts best practices in the field of cyber security and giving them tools to pass the gained knowledge forward. The pilot project is implemented at the American University of Central Asia, with three phases of workshops and mentoring of local students in the field of general cyber security and cyber hygiene and writing of safe code. The project is funded through the DCP programme, where USA aims to encourage Central European countries to fund project in developing countries.
In 2022, 12 children, victims of armed conflict, will participate at psychosocial rehabilitation in Slovenia. The goal of the project is to enable children an adequate medical rehabilitation carried out by Slovenian Red Cross Health and Youth Resort Debeli Rtič. The comprehensive rehabilitation program will cover various therapies and other activities – hydrotherapy, respiratory physiotherapy, exercises for persistence, and a rich educational and social gathering program.
In 2022 ITF will provide psychosocial rehabilitation for 80 Ukrainian refugees (children and their parents) in Slovenia. Rehabilitation will be carried out by Slovenian Red Cross Health and Youth Resort Debeli Rtič, who will provide tailor-made rehabilitation programme for refugees, who endured the atrocities of the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine. The goal of the project is to improve they psychosocial heath and general well-being.
There is a growing number of refugees located in the border areas between Moldova and Ukraine - mostly children and their mothers. The population crossing the border nowadays is significantly more traumatized and in poor economic situation. In addition to health problems, including severe lack of medicines, children and their mothers are burdened with psychological trauma caused by war, experiencing personal anxiety caused by their refugee status. Moldova is the poorest of all refugee-receiving countries and has the least potential to provide the necessary medicines and basic psychosocial protection for children and support for their mothers. Therefore, ITF decided to provide assistance by supplying medicines for children and their mothers and to organize daily activities for children that will alleviate the psychological consequences of armed conflict and their exile and entertain children, while strengthening mothers in order to facilitate their maternal functions and mentally strengthen them by alleviating their traumas and losses.
Following decades of consecutive wars, Iraq is the country with the largest explosive remnants of war (ERW)-contaminated area in the world. In the north of the country, in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, the most serious concern is so-called legacy contamination, i.e. contamination dating back to before 2014. According to existing estimates, more than 260 sq. kilometers of territory is polluted by ERW, negatively affecting over 600 local communities. Over the past year, the local authorities reported over 30 ERW casualties in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, a testament to the great danger that ERW poses to the lives of local people. ERW contamination prevents the use of land for agriculture or socio-economic activities, the delivery of aid to vulnerable people, and hinders the functioning of basic public infrastructure.
The project addresses Iraq's massive mine action needs, particularly the needs in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region. ERW contamination has increased since the occupation of the Islamic State group in 2014. At the same time, there is a decreasing interest in clearing a massive area of contaminated land, dating to before 2014, which Iraq is obliged to clear in accordance with its commitments under the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. Iraqi Kurdistan is facing a major funding shortfall. As a result, activities are carried out in a very limited extent, although all capacities and equipment are available. Through this project, the logistics and transportation of demining teams will be supported, which will allow around 20 demining teams to work. These will operate in four provinces in Iraqi Kurdistan's priority areas in line with Iraq's mine action strategy.
Up to 22 victims of the armed conflict in Ukraine, in cooperation with URI-Soča in Slovenia, will receive medical rehabilitation, which includes treatment, an examination to determine the actual situation, triage, rehabilitation and equipping with medical devices. The rehabilitation of all conflict victims requires a sustainable and holistic approach to rehabilitation, which entails both physical and psychological support. Selected victims of the armed conflict in Ukraine will have improved conditions for successful reintegration into society and achieving an equal position in society.