Sri Lanka to receive German aid for mine clearance
The German Federal Foreign Office is to grant EUR 4 million to help Sri Lanka achieve its objective of becoming mine impact free by 2020.
This gesture comes in the light of Sri Lanka having acceded to the Ottawa Treaty (a.k.a. the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction) in December 2017.
The funds will be channelled through two NGOs – The HALO Trust and the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) – to carry out demining activities in the most affected areas, which predominantly include Sri Lanka’s Northern and Eastern Provinces.
Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar and Trincomalee are some of the areas within the scope of the programme.
Titled ‘Humanitarian Mine Clearance in Northern Sri Lanka,’ the project is expected to span a time period of two years and will also focus on the resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs), along with improved security and livelihoods for them.
Demobilisation training is set to be part of the initiative whereby staff will gain the knowledge and skills required to improve their post-mine clearance livelihoods.
The aim is to release a minimum of 1,110,480 square metres of land at the end of the two year period, providing immediate safety to families, and furthering sustainable resettlement, and livelihood and socioeconomic development.