Tuesday December 12, 2017

Japan Donates 2.5 million US dollars to Mine Action in South Sudan

Yoal Manyang

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JUBA – The Government of Japan has announced a contribution of 2.5 million US dollars to the project by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), “Provision of Emergency Response and Support to the Japanese Engineering Contingent with Multi-Tasking Teams”. This contribution is part of the assistance package announced by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on January 14, 2014 in response to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in South Sudan.Mr Takeshi Akamatsu, Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan stated that “We recognize that mine action is one of the essential services required to support the ongoing humanitarian aid delivery in South Sudan”.

“We hope the new UNMAS teams would support lifesaving operations in response to this crisis. Japan has been active in supporting min clearance activities, including as this year’s Chair of the Mine Action Support Group, a global coordination mechanism on mine action. We look forward to working with UNMAS to support a South Sudan free from the threat of landmines and other explosive remnants of war,” Akamatsu said.

Meanwhile, Mr Lance Malin, UNMAS South Sudan Program Manager, described the importance of the support from Japan. “UNMAS appreciates the generous and continued support from the Government of Japan to our clearance efforts in South Sudan. We also welcome Japan’s strong support to mine action activities globally, most currently as the chair of the Mine Action Support Group”.

“This funding will be used to clear explosive hazards throughout the country including those from the current crisis, thus saving lives and enabling humanitarian access. UNMAS will also continue to work closely with the UNMISS Japanese Engineering Contingent in supporting their operations. These activities would not be possible without the kind contribution from the people of Japan,” Malin added.

Malin further said that “First, the Teams will conduct surveys and clearance of dangerous items in contaminated areas, as well as impact monitoring and needs assessment during clearance operations. Second, they will provide mine risk education to the population on potential dangers of explosive materials. And third, the Teams will support the activities of the Japanese Engineering Contingent in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). It is expected that, through the Japanese-funded project, UNMAS will be able to assist millions of South Sudanese people throughout the country”.

The violence since mid-December 2013 in South Sudan has led to an increase in the contamination by unexploded ordnance and other explosive remnants of war in the country. This threatens the lives of civilians and limits the capacity for safe delivery of humanitarian aid. The Multi-Tasking Teams to be established by this project will implement a wide range of activities to address the problem.

The Upper Nile Times

Yoal Manyang
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