(Khartoum, 03 March 2016): The Government of Japan has decided to contribute USD 2.1 million to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) for humanitarian mine action work, in coordination with the Sudan National Mine Action Center, in the Republic of Sudan. Aimed at reducing suffering and saving lives, this contribution will enable UNMAS to survey and clear landmines and explosive hazards in the States of Kassala, Red Sea, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. “This is a very important and significant contribution that enables the United Nations to continue its essential work. We expect to release more than 1.5 million square meters of land,” stated Mr. Habibulhaq Javed, the UNMAS Programme Manager in Sudan.
The generous donation will support risk education projects designed to assist 100,000 people living in affected regions and will also allow the United Nations to provide assistance to the children, women and men living with disabilities caused by landmines and explosive hazards.
“This contribution from the People of Japan, which represents 20 percent of our 2016 budget, will reduce casualties, make it possible for refugees and the internally displaced to safely return to their communities and homes and will improve the safety of humanitarian aid workers,” explained the Programme Manager Javed.
The contribution will also strengthen the National Mine Action Center’s (NMAC) quality assurance and project management capacities, which is a strategic objective of the United Nations in all of its mine action programmes.
Ambassador of Japan, Mr. Hideki Ito appreciated the commitment of the Sudanese Government in fulfilling its obligation under the Ottawa treaty. He said “The conflict is not over until its remnants are cleared. Japan is pleased to contribute to put a real end to the conflict through this project so that people can enjoy a safe and normal life in peace.” He stressed that landmines must be removed not only to save lives but also to open up new chances for development. He hoped that the contribution of Japan in land mine issue in Sudan will assist it in realizing a real end to the conflict and moving forward to economic development for the better lives of friendly Sudanese people. Ambassador Ito, in addition, hoped that other countries will also make contributions so that UNMAS can complete its operations.
Reaffirming Sudan’s commitments, General Ibrahim Mohamed El Hassan, the State Minister of Defense expressed that “We are highly committed towards our obligations under Ottawa Treaty and I am personally keen to see the very last mine removed from our land and our people live in peace and security.” Appreciating the contribution from the government of Japan to UNMAS for mine action operations in Sudan, He added “Japan is a good friend of Sudan, their contribution to mine action in Sudan is another example of expressing the friendship in practice”.
For more information, please contact:
Mr. Koji Hase, First Secretary, Head of Economic Cooperation Section, Embassy of Japan