The United Nations on Wednesday said clearance of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) received a boost this week with the donation of $3.6 million from the government of Japan.
A news release from the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) said the contribution would benefit over 1,500 Afghans living in 15 communities through the removal of 38 hazards over an area of 2.5 square kilometres in Kabul, Parwan, Baghlan, Paktia and Nimroz.“The contribution will also result in Kabul New City and Zaranj -- the capital of Nimroz -- being declared entirely free of all recorded hazards,” said UNMAS, which has been supporting the Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan (MAPA) since 2002.
UNMAS added Japan -- the leading donor to UN efforts to eradicate landmines -- had maintained its “strong support” for humanitarian demining in Afghanistan.
The $3.6 million is part of $13 million Japan has given to a UN-administered trust fund.“Japan has been a constant supporter of mine action in Afghanistan. 2014 is an important milestone for the country and, with this generous contribution, Japan’s commitment to the stability and development of Afghanistan is clear,” said UNMAS Programme Manager in Afghanistan Abigail Hartley.
The director of MAPA, Mohammad Sediq Rashid, said that despite the significant progress made in the past, many people, particularly children, are at risk of being killed or disabled by landmines and ERW.
“This generous contribution from the people of Japan will not only save lives, it will also contribute to the peace and stability of our war‐torn country,” he added.