17 February 2011. Kabul, Afghanistan. The Japanese Government has committed 10 million US dollars to mine action in Afghanistan over the next nine months through an agreement with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).
The funds will support a range of landmine clearance and coordination in support of the mine action programme’s achievement of its strategic goals in line with the Ottawa Treaty and the vision of the Government of Afghanistan. As a result of the support, 4.32 sq km of land contaminated with landmines and other explosive remnants of war will be cleared and put to productive use by the communities. This will affect the lives of almost one million Afghans currently living at risk of landmines and other explosive remnants of war. 56 teams of Afghan deminers will be employed to carry out this work.
More specifically, the funding will support Emergency Response Capacities in Nangahar and Kandahar as well as survey and clearance in the heavily contaminated central region, as well as Hirat, Bamiyan, Kandahar, Uruzgan and Nangahar provinces.
Dr Haider Reza, Programme Director, MACCA said: “The ongoing, generous support of the Japanese Government is of great value to the achieving our ongoing goal of seeing Afghans freed from the impact of landmines and other explosive remnants of war.”
The Government of Japan has been supporting the contribution of UNMAS and MACCA to demining and mine risk education in Afghanistan for ten years. In 2009, Japan announced its new overall commitment to Afghanistan of USD 5 billion in 5 years. The Embassy of Japan said that it will continue its strong commitment to stabilization and reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Flora Sutherland/ Malalai Muska
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