Japan contributes to UN Mine Action Service in Sudan
The Government of Japan has pledged $2.1 million to the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) for humanitarian landmine work, in coordination with the Sudan National Mine Action Centre (NMAC).
Aimed at reducing suffering and saving lives, this contribution will enable UNMAS to survey and clear land mines and explosive hazards in the states of Kassala, Red Sea, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile, UNMAS, the Japanese embassy, and the NMAC say in a joint press statement today.
“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 meres of land,” stated 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 UN to provide assistance to the children, women and men living with disabilities caused by land mines 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,” Javed explained.
The contribution will also strengthen the NMAC quality assurance and project management capacities, which is a strategic objective of the UN in all of its mine action programmes.
Ambassador of Japan, Hideki Ito, appreciated the commitment of the Sudanese government in fulfilling its obligation under the Ottawa treaty. “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 said.
The ambassador stressed that land mines 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. In addition, he hoped that other countries will also make contributions so that UNMAS can complete its operations.
General Ibrahim Mohamed El Hassan, State Minister of Defence replied 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”.
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