Priti Patel, the Secretary of State for International Development, and Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell visited the HALO Trust at its Carronbridge headquarters on Tuesday.
Ms Patel used the visit to announce an £8.1 million funding extension to the current Global Mine Action Programme delivered by HALO, MAG and Norwegian People’s Aid for the year 2017/18.
And she said: “Landmines are indiscriminate weapons of war that maim and kill innocent children every day.
“Scottish organisations like HALO Trust are at the forefront of the UK’s efforts, bringing British ingenuity, determination and bravery to save lives and make some of the world’s most fragile countries safer and more stable.”
Ms Patel and Mr Mundell were welcomed by HALO CEO Major General James Cowan and MAG CEO Jane Cocking.
The politicians saw how HALO’s 7000 global staff are reliant on administrative and logistical support from the local community, as well as the supply of a variety of equipment — much of which is provided by local firms.
Over the last ten years, the HALO Trust has purchased nearly £5 million on life-saving protective equipment from local businesses.
This includes specialist armouring equipment for vehicles from Penman’s Engineering, spare parts for Land Rovers from Carlisle-based Lloyds Motors and tyres from Soltyre.
Representatives from local firms had the opportunity to meet Ms Patel and Mr Mundell during a networking session where they discussed the tangible benefits to be derived by UK businesses who engage with humanitarian organisations operating overseas.
The Vice Lord Lieutenant Gordon Dickie and Tom Armstrong from the Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce were also in attendance.
Ms Patel said: “I’m pleased to have met with so many of the local companies that provide the specialist equipment HALO needs to carry out its dangerous and difficult work – they represent the best of British expertise.
“By involving British businesses in our lifesaving work overseas, we are supporting local economies right across the UK and helping to create and protect jobs.”