DR Congo + 1 more

The People of Japan Contribute $2 Million USD to support United Nations Mine Action Activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Reducing the threat and impact of explosive hazardous items for Peace and Stability Consolidation in the DRC

(Kinshasa, 18 March 2016) The People of Japan have donated USD 2 million to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) for humanitarian mine action work in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Aimed at creating safer environments and more secure communities, this contribution will enable UNMAS to survey and clear explosive remnants of war (ERW) and other explosive hazards in the five provinces of Lomami, Sankuru, Kasai-Oriental, Kasai-Central and Maniema in Central DRC.

“This is a very important and significant contribution that enables the United Nations to continue its essential work. As a result of this donation, we expect to significantly reduce the threat and impact of explosive hazards and thereby increase the safety of around 16 million people living in these provinces,” stated Mr. Max Dyck, the UNMAS Programme Manager in the DRC.

This contribution from the People of Japan represents 40% of this year’s budgetary needs for the DRC programme, and UNMAS continues to engage with the donor community to secure additional funding. The generous donation will allow UNMAS to deploy two multi-task teams to cover the selected five provinces in Central DRC where ERW contamination remains widespread but where no explosive clearance capacity currently exists. These provinces have a considerable number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, further exacerbating the already difficult living conditions. As appropriate, this project will also deliver targeted risk education to complement the survey and clearance activities.

Through previous contributions from the People of Japan, UNMAS in the DRC has undertaken capacity development of the national mine action authority, the Centre Congolais de Lutte Antimines (CCLAM). In addition, non-technical and technical survey shall be conducted as and when required by UNMAS for newly identified suspected hazardous areas (SHAs). Strengthening national mine action authorities is a strategic objective of the United Nations in all of its mine action programmes as well as a specific objective of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework for the DRC.

“The People of Japan are happy to assist the DRC to help rid the country of the legacy of armed conflict, to save lives and make all regions of this vast and beautiful country safer and more productive. We strongly support humanitarian mine action work and expect the Government to continue progressing on its obligations to declare a mine-free DRC before 2020”, announced the interim head of the Embassy of Japan in the DRC, Mr. Shuji Noguchi. The Government of Japan shares the vision of the United Nations to achieve a world free from the threat of landmines and other explosive hazards. “We encourage other donors to join us in supporting this and other UN mine action programmes”, Mr. Noguchi concluded.

Since 2002, UNMAS in the DRC has destroyed 3,857 landmines and 5.3 million items of ERW, as well as delivering direct risk education to 3.6 million people living in areas most affected by landmines and unexploded ordnance and reaching out to 23.9 million through soft risk education (SMS and radio).

UNMAS currently supports mine action programmes in Abyei (Sudan/South Sudan), Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Darfur (Sudan), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, State of Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and the territory of Western Sahara (MINURSO).

For more information, please contact:
Ms. Cecilie Hahn-Petersen, UNMAS DRC Programme Officer (New York)
Email: hahn-petersen@un.org, Tel: +1 917 367 3572

Mr. Fran O’Grady, UNMAS DRC Programme Officer (Goma)
Email: ogradyf@un.org, Tel: +243 825001825