Opening of the New ITF Office in Kyiv, Ukraine
On September 5th, 2023, Ambassador Tomaž Lovrenčič, ITF Director, paid a visit to Kyiv to open a new ITF’s office in Ukraine and to meet with national partners in the country. For the opening of the office in Kyiv, ITF was honoured by the presence of dr. Aleš Musar, spouse of the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Slovenia’s Ambassador to Ukraine, Ms. Mateja Prevolšek, and Ms. Anna-Maria Steiner, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Austria in Kyiv.
The establishment of the ITF office in Kyiv represents a significant step in addressing humanitarian challenges in Ukraine that emerged due to the war that began in February 2022. The country faces various issues, including a substantial refugee crisis, significant humanitarian aid needs, and numerous civilian casualties. A grave consequence of these challenges is the widespread contamination of Ukrainian territory by cluster munitions, landmines, and other explosive remnants of war. This contamination impedes reconstruction efforts and poses significant risks to civilians, emphasizing the urgency for humanitarian aid and mine action initiatives. The office, funded by the Republic of Slovenia, will actively contribute to essential project activities, focusing on the strengthening of the national mine action capacity, victim assistance, and mental health and psychosocial support.
The new ITF office in Ukraine is strategically located to partner with local authorities, particularly the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU), the national agency responsible for civil protection and disaster management. During the meeting with SESU, ITF Director expressed his gratitude to SESU and its valiant operatives for the highly appreciated help they provided to Slovenia after the catastrophic floods in August. This act of solidarity and assistance highlighted the strong partnership and friendship between nations, as it works in both ways.
ITF remains dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of those affected by conflict, working towards a more secure and inclusive future for all. This underscores ITF's unwavering commitment to human security and the importance of immediate assistance and support during times of crisis. Together, ITF and its partners strive for a world where the rights and dignity of every individual are upheld, regardless of the challenges they face.