Sri Lanka + 1 more

Japan to Support Humanitarian Demining Activities in the Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka (9 February 2022)

The Government of Japan has provided a total sum of US$ 647,611 (approx. Rs. 128 million) to the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) for humanitarian demining activities in the Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka. The grant contract was signed on the 1st February 2022 between His Excellency Mr. MIZUKOSHI Hideaki, Ambassador of Japan, and Ms. Cristy McLennan, Country Director of MAG. Due to the current prevailing Covid-19 situation, the contract was signed remotely.

MAG commenced operations in Sri Lanka in 2002 with approximately 20% of its clearance activities accomplished through Japanese assistance. Since 2009 when precise data was made available, MAG has released the total of 98km2 of suspected contaminated land in the country. It is expected that this FY’s project would contribute to facilitating the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to make mine contaminated areas safe lands for internally displaced people and enhancing directly or indirectly 7,374 people’s livelihoods in Mannar, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya and Trincomalee Districts.

Japan has been a major donor in the area of mine clearance in Sri Lanka since 2002, assisting all the four demining NGOs currently operating in Sri Lanka. More than US$ 40.8 million in assistance was rendered towards this cause through its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP).

This year, we are at the edge of celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two nations. These demining projects are one of an iconic symbol of “Sri Lanka and Japan” friendship.

The Government of Sri Lanka aims to achieve “a mine impact free Sri Lanka” within a few years and to become the next mine impact free country in the world.

Through this project, the Government of Japan endeavors to ensure that Sri Lanka is safe for all.

Commenting on the provision of this grant, Ms. Cristy McLennan stated;

“MAG is honored to accept this grant from the Government of Japan, an esteemed donor for Humanitarian Mine Action projects both within Sri Lanka and around the world. In the last seven years alone, the partnership between MAG Sri Lanka and the Government of Japan has enabled the removal and destruction of over 14,000 landmines. It has helped many people resettle and rebuild their lives and livelihoods in Mannar, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya districts through its clearance operations. The funding from the People of Japan will not only contribute to saving lives but also building safer futures for the mine-affected and poorest communities in the country. With this continued Japanese support, MAG is looking forward to continuing clearance activities towards the final stage of landmine release in country in support of the Government of Sri Lanka’s commitment to being mine impact free.”