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Jordan : German grant to help fund Jordan Valley sampling and verification project.

The German government will help fund the National Committee for De-mining and Rehabilitation's (NCDR) ongoing Jordan Valley sampling and verification project under a 250,000-euro grant agreement signed on Sunday.

The German grant will cover all costs related to the sampling and verification project for six months. NCDR Director Mohammad Breikat and German Deputy Head of Mission Friederike Hellner signed the agreement yesterday.

In 2008, the Royal Engineering Corps (REC) turned over to the NCDR 267 minefields, accounting for 22 million square metres of a previously suspected hazardous area in the Jordan Valley.

However, the area cleared by the REC did not have an independent quality assurance and control process as required by the national technical standards and guidelines, the statement said, adding that the NCDR was then obliged to undertake external sampling and verification of the work the REC conducted between 1993 and 2008.

Over the past few years, most mine-related accidents in the Jordan Valley took place not in the sites of known minefields, but in other areas, posing a threat to human security whose extent was not known, according to the NCDR statement.

Due to flooding and erosion, many of the area's remaining mines have drifted from their original locations, making a full-scale reverification project in the Jordan Valley crucial, the statement said, noting that the area is the Kingdom's breadbasket, a main source of food security, and a crucial target of economic development.

As of 2010, 190 minefields spread over 12.5 million square metres were identified as suspected hazardous areas; 7.2 million square metres of the total area were sampled, 4.4 million square metres were cancelled and 2.8 million square metres were identified as confirmed hazardous areas.

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Date:Jul 27, 2010
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