The Ministry of International Cooperation started preparing for a second phase of development and de-mining activities on the northwest coast of Egypt, said Fathy al-Shazly, manager of the project at the Ministry of International Cooperation.
Shazly told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the ministry has received various offers from foreign countries, including Germany and New Zealand, to finance the second phase.
He said next year the European Union will grant Egypt about 10 million euros toward the budget of the phase, which is scheduled to be completed within five or six years.
According to US estimates, the total size of the areas with landmines is about 683,000 acres, from west of Alexandria to the Egypt-Libya border, added Shazly.
Shazly said that the first phase of the project succeeded in removing about 3 million mines and explosives from 93,000 acres.
About 59,000 acres will be cleared during the second phase.
He said landmines mean Egypt cannot use 22% of its land that contains oil, valuable minerals and water. Studies indicate that this land contains some 13.8 trillion cubic feet of gas, 650 million tons of minable materials, and 3 million acres of arable land.
Translated from the Arabic Edition