The Government of Japan has decided to provide a total sum of US$801,311 (approximately Rs. 108 million) in grant aid for humanitarian demining in the North under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP).
The Project for Humanitarian Mine Clearance in the North, implemented by The HALO Trust will expedite the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to make mine contaminated areas safe lands for people to return and resume their livelihood.
Japan has been a major donor supporting mine clearance in Sri Lanka to accelerate the return and resettlement of Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) and to facilitate recommencement of agriculture and other livelihood activities of returnees. Since 2003, the Government of Japan has provided a sum of US$ 27.7 million for demining activities in the North and the East under its Grant Assistance schemes.
Damian O’Brien, Programme Manager, The HALO Trust noted that “HALO was honored to be recognized as a trustworthy partner by the, Government of Japan, one of the most important donors to demining activities in. Sri Lanka since 2043. With Japanese support, HALO Sri Lanka will clear its 200,000th landmine by early next year, an important milestone that shows how much the partnership has accomplished.
Sri Lanka has a target of being mine-impact free by 2020. Japan has already made a vital contribution to achieving that target, but it will also depend can the ongoing support of other longstanding donors as well as additional funding from new partners. (Colombo Gazette)