Oct 18, Colombo: The Government of Japan has provided a total sum of US$ 1,266,825 (approx. Rs. 219 million) to SKAVITA Humanitarian Assistance and Relief Project (SHARP) and The HALO Trust for humanitarian demining in Northern Sri Lanka.
The grant contracts were signed on 18th October 2019 at the HALO Trust's Muhamalai Control Point in Kilinochchi, between Akira Sugiyama, Ambassador of Japan, and Lt Col (Retd) V.S.M. Sarath Jayawardhana, Programme Manager of SHARP and Ms. Belinda Vause, Programme Manager of the HALO Trust, respectively.
The Government of Sri Lanka aims to achieve "Mine-Impact Free Sri Lanka" by the year of 2020, and has acceded to the Ottawa Convention in December 2017. Japan highly appreciates these commitments by Sri Lanka and will continue to provide our fullest support for this endeavor, the Japanese Embassy said in a statement.
With the continuous efforts of the Sri Lankan Government and the demining organizations, the remaining confirmed hazardous area has been reduced from over 1,000 square kilometers to 25 square kilometers.
The two projects are expected to further proceed with the ongoing mine clearance in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Jaffna Districts, enabling the resettlement of the internally displaced people and the enhancement of their livelihoods.
Japan has been a major donor in the area of mine clearance in Sri Lanka since 2003, with more than US$ 35 million assistance in total through its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP), in view of the goal of the Government of Sri Lanka to be mine impact free by 2020. This contribution has helped to accelerate and facilitate the resettlement and recommencement of agriculture and other livelihood activities of the Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs).