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Japanese Govt grants US $540k for humanitarian demining activities in Northern SL

Colombo (LNW): The Government of Japan has provided a total sum of US $547,443 (approx. Rs. 170 million) to Skavita Humanitarian Assistance and Relief Project aka SHARP for humanitarian demining activities in Northern Sri Lanka, international humanitarian information portal Relief Web reported.

Ambassador MIZUKOSHI expressed Japan’s commitment to supporting continuously for the conflict-hit area to achieve reconciliation and promote sustainable development in Sri Lanka.

Since the beginning of Sri Lanka Mine Action programme, the Japanese Government has been a continuous aide to Sri Lanka in supporting mine clearance activities. The total amount of assistance exceeds US$ 43 million to date. Development of the conflict-affected regions is one of the priority areas in Japan’s official development assistance policy to Sri Lanka.

This Financial Year’s project is expected to enable resettlement of over 400 internally displaced people and enhance their livelihoods of over 2,300 individuals directly or indirectly by clearing contaminated lands in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu districts.

Commenting on the provision of this grant, Major Gen. (retd) Mr. Sumathi Ranjan Balasuriya stated;

“SHARP is most grateful to and deeply appreciative of the Japanese Embassy for the trust and confidence placed in SHARP by being the sole donor to SHARP continuously for 6 years, from its inception to initially commencing the demining operations in 2016, and thereafter until 2021. As of July 2023, in support of grant assistance from the Government of Japan, SHARP has cleared a total of 2,414,199 Sq Mtrs and recovered 11,471 anti-personnel mines, 168 anti-tank mines, 4,166 UXOs and over 19,647 SAA with over 2,596 families or 10,300 individuals directly and indirectly benefitted. This accounts for over 90% of the total cleared lands by SHARP.

SHARP will continue to carry out our operations to the best of our ability diligently, efficiently and effectively fully co-operating with the Japanese Embassy and all other agencies to completely justify the funds provided and fulfil the desires of our sponsors. The heartfelt gratitude and thanks of all members of SHARP is conveyed to His Excellency Ambassador MIZUKOSHI Hideaki, all GGP staff members of the Japanese Embassy and most of all the people of Japan, for their unstinted support by sponsoring SHARP, and more so ever for the Embassy of Japan being in the forefront of supporting demining activities in Sri Lanka and their continuous commitment, cooperation and assistance for the well-being of the people of our country.”

Source: Relief Web

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