Japan gives an almost $8 million boost to UN mine clearing efforts in Africa

10 March 2009

The effort to rid the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Chad of unexploded bombs that kill and maim people years after they are laid received a multi-million dollar boost today from the Japanese Government, announced the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to benefit from the donation of 762 million Japanese yen (just over $7.7 million at today’s exchange rate) that will go towards improving the living conditions of people facing the daily danger of mines and explosive remnants of war.

“This is an enormous boost to the United Nations mine action efforts,” said Max Kerley, Director of UNMAS.

In Chad – one of the ten countries most affected by remnants or war – 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.

The donation will also help two projects in the DRC that aim to decrease the mine threats in farmland, water sources, grazing areas, dwellings, schools and other locations.

Japan is a major supporter of UNMAS, having given some 35 billion Japanese yen (over $350 million) to mine action programmes around the world, according to its Government figures.


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