Japan boosts global fight against landmines (Japan)

Multi-million yen contribution will aid mine action in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad


NEW YORK, New York, March 10, 2009 - In Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo mines and especially unexploded ordnance are among the most pernicious effects of years of fighting. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to benefit from the generous Japanese contribution focusing on improving the living conditions of people facing the daily danger of mines and explosive remnants of war.

Japan's contribution of 762 million Japanese yen was officially presented to the United Nations Mine Action Service today. During 2008, Japan was the second largest donor to the Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action, which the United Nations Mine Action Service manages.

"This is an enormous boost to the United Nations mine action efforts," says Max Kerley the Director of the United Nations Mine Action Service. "We are grateful that Japan continues to support the cause of removing landmines," he adds. This generous contribution confirms Japan's commitment to such beneficial and worthwhile undertakings."

The funds presented by Japanese Ambassador Mr. Yukio Takasu will enable the implementation of two new projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Minefield and Explosive Remnants of War Survey and Rapid Response and Developing and implementing a Victim Assistance Strategy. The projects will increase human security and focus on priority areas including farmland, water sources, grazing areas, dwellings, schools, local travel routes and remote villages to decrease the threat posed by mines and explosive remnants of war.

In Chad, the funds will help the country move closer to its goal of clearing all mined areas within 10 years of ratification of the Anti-Personnel Mine-Ban Treaty. Chad is one of the top ten countries most affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war in the world. This threat obstructs the development of humanitarian and socio-economic activities in affected areas and prohibits local populations from enjoying freedom of movement. The UNDP Chad mine action project provides comprehensive management, resource mobilization, technical, advisory and financial support to the national authorities in order to help optimize use of national and international resources.

Japan is one of UNMAS principle supporters and according to the Government of Japan they have provided 35 billion Japanese yen to mine action programmes around the world. Japan chose Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo to demonstrate its continuing commitment to peace and development in Africa.

The United Nations Mine Action Service is located in the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. The United Nations Development Programme provides technical support to Chad's national mine action authority. The United Nations Mine Action Service and the United Nations Development Programme are two of the 14 different United Nations departments, programmes, agencies and funds that make up the "United Nations Mine Action Team."

Von: 10.03.2009, www.reliefweb.int

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