Germany increases funding for demining in Sri Lanka

Germany has increased funding for demining in Sri Lanka, the German Embassy in Colombo said.

In 2019, the German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) provided a sum of 2 Million Euros (Approx. 449 Min LKR) to HALO Trust towards demining activities in affected areas of the Northern Province in Sri Lanka. The decision was taken in light of Sri Lanka’s accession to the Ottawa Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention with the aim of assisting Sri Lanka to achieve the target of becoming a mine-impact free country by 2020.

In addition to the funds provided last year, Germany has now allocated an additional 1 Million Euros (Approx. 224 Min LKR) to the organization as well as an extension for completion of the demining project.

Utilizing the grant by Germany, HALO has made safe over 500,000m² of land in Northern Sri Lanka since 1 January 2019. To date, the project has benefitted 7,783 people directly and 26,770 people indirectly.

Over the past 23 months, GFFO funded teams have worked across 78 minefields in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, and Mullaitivu Districts clearing their communities of the deadly legacy of war.

GFFO-funded deminers have located and destroyed 15,356 explosive items, including over 2,000 landmines, 800 items of unexploded ordnance, such as grenades and mortars and over 12,000 small arms ammunition.

This work has been achieved through the employment and training of local men and women from conflict-affected communities.

Eleanor Porritt, Programme Manager of HALO Sri Lanka stated that the renewed support from GFFO will enable the vital work to continue, bringing Sri Lanka one step closer to achieving its goal of a mine-free country. (Colombo Gazette)