The Government of Japan has extended a total sum of US$ 625,000 (Approximately Rs. 97 million) in grant aid for humanitarian demining in Northern Sri Lanka, under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP).
“The Project for Humanitarian Mine Clearance for Resettlement and Livelihood in Northern Sri Lanka” will be implemented by the HALO Trust and the Grant Contract was signed between His Excellency Mr. Akira Sugiyama, Ambassador of Japan in Sri Lanka and Mr. Michael Dyer, Acting Programme Manager of the HALO Trust on 5th of November 2018 at the Ambassador’s Residence in Colombo. It is expected that this project would contribute to facilitating the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka to make mine contaminated areas safe lands for internally displaced people to return and resume their livelihood activities. The HALO Trust, one of the world’s largest and oldest humanitarian demining NGOs, will conduct humanitarian mine clearance in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, and Mullaitivu districts.
Japan has been a major donor in the area of mine clearance in Sri Lanka since 2003, with more than US$ 33 million in total through its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP). This contribution has helped to accelerate and facilitate the resettlement and recommencement of agriculture and other livelihood activities of the Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs), in view of the 2020 target of the government of Sri Lanka to be mine impact free.
Mr. Matthew Hovell, HALO’s head of region for Asia said, “Japan is HALO’s longest contributing donor in Sri Lanka providing us with crucial funding for mine clearance year after year. Mine clearance is key to the reconciliation process in the north and to the resettlement of thousands of people. Even after many years of mine clearance the remaining challenge is significant. With continuing support from the Government of Japan and other donors, together with the national government and the mine action community, we can achieve the goal of a mine impact free Sri Lanka by the end of 2020.”