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Mine Action Coordination Centre of Afghanistan Press Release on Japan Support in Afghanistan

Mine Action Coordination Centre of Afghanistan (MACCA)

Kabul, Afghanistan, 7 March, 2013 - The Japanese Government donated 3.5 million US dollars to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action which will be used for the UN Mine Action Service Program in Afghanistan. The contribution will enable 36 minefields to be cleared directly benefiting over 11,500 Afghans and 144 communities for the removal of Explosive Remnants of War. Work will be conducted in the provinces of Samangan, Baghlan, Parwan, and Kandahar.

“This generous contribution of the people of Japan will bring us closer to an Afghanistan that is free from the threats of landmines and other explosive remnants of war,” said Mohammad Sediq Rashid, the Director of the Mine Action Coordination Centre. Abigail Hartley, the Programme Manager of the UN Mine Action Service Program in Afghanistan, further added, “The much welcomed and appreciated contribution by Japan is very timely as it will contribute to the delivery of high priority projects of the first year’s work plan under Afghanistan’s Ottawa Treaty Extension Request. The support will save lives, contribute to stability and make land safe, enabling socio-economic development to take place.”

Japan is the second largest donor to the Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action and have significantly supported the Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan for many years.  Through the provision of $110 million since 1991, Japanese funding has contributed considerably to the success of the programme which has cleared over 20,000 hazardous areas, destroyed over 1 million anti-personnel mines and over 14 million items of ERW.  The accident rate has dropped from over 2,000 people killed and injured in 2001 to 315 in 2012.

Contacts: Kamal Ibrahimi/ Noorullah Elham

0705 966 550/ 0702 353 298

Kamal.Ibrahimi@macca.org.af/ Noorullah.Elham@macca.org.af