Japan grants US$ 625,000 (Approx. Rs 97m) for mine clearance
The Government of Japan has extended a sum of US$ 625,000 (Approximately Rs 97 million) in grant aid for humanitarian demining in Northern Sri Lanka, under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP).
“The Project for Humanitarian Mine Clearance for Resettlement and Livelihood in Northern Sri Lanka” will be implemented by the HALO Trust, and the Grant Contract was signed between the Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka, Akira Sugiyama and HALO Trust Acting Programme Manager Michael Dyer, this week.
"It is expected that this project would contribute to facilitating the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to make mine contaminated areas safe for Internally Displaced People (IDP) to return and resume their livelihood activities. The HALO Trust, one of the world’s largest and oldest humanitarian demining NGOs, will conduct humanitarian mine clearance in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, and Mullaitivu districts," the Japanese Embassy said in a news release.
Japan has been a major donor in the area of mine clearance in Sri Lanka since 2003, with more than US$ 33 million in total through its GGP. This contribution helped accelerate and facilitate the resettlement and recommencement of agriculture and other livelihood activities of the IDPs, in view of the 2020 target of the GoSL to be mine impact free.
HALO’s Asian Regional Head Matthew Hovell said, "Japan is HALO’s longest contributing donor in Sri Lanka, providing us with crucial funding for mine clearance year after year. Mine clearance is key to the reconciliation process in the North and to the resettlement of thousands of people. Even after many years of mine clearance, the remaining challenge is significant. With continuing support from the Government of Japan and other donors, together with the GoSL and the mine action community, we can achieve the goal of a mine impact free Sri Lanka by end 2020.”