February 20, 2013
BOGOTA, Colombia―Canada will assist landmine survivors in Colombia, including children and youth, with their recovery and reintegration into society thanks to $2.93 million in support over four years. The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), made the announcement today on behalf of the Minister of International Cooperation, the Honourable Julian Fantino, during her visit to Bogota, as part of her mission to Central and South America.
"One of the most terrible effects of Colombia's armed conflict is the number of landmine victims," said Minister Ablonczy. "With the Harper Government's support, the Government of Colombia is addressing the needs of landmine survivors. We continue to play a leading role internationally in addressing the humanitarian impact of landmines and explosive remnants of war. Together, we are helping Colombians get the services they need to return to normal productive lives."
Landmine survivors face serious recovery challenges not only from their physical injuries, but also from the impact on their mental health, and their ability to support themselves and their families. The harm caused by landmines to children and youth survivors has particularly severe consequences in the long-term.
Handicap International Canada will implement the project that will assist civilian landmine survivors, in accessing rehabilitation services and reintegrating back into society. The project will be implemented in ten departments (provinces) of Colombia.
Canada's funding targets the rural areas in Colombia most affected by poverty and armed conflict, where access to services remains limited. With Canada's support, the project will help increase access to services for civilian landmine survivors, with a focus on children and youth; and increase the capacity of Colombian organizations that provide victim assistance in responding to the needs of survivors.
Minister Ablonczy is on a four country tour of Central and South America in support of Canada's engagement in the Americas-a foreign policy priority since 2007.