Canada pledges $2 million for landmine clearance in Sri Lanka

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Reaffirming commitment to the Ottawa Convention, Canada yesterday announced $8.3 million to support mine-affected communities including $2 million for landmine clearance in northern Sri Lanka.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne and International Development Minister Karina Gould issued a statement pledging their commitment to the Ottawa Convention.

The statement said un-exploded landmines prevent local populations from living and working on their lands in more than 60 countries.

“Every year, 7,000 people lose their lives and thousands more are injured in areas contaminated by these weapons around the world, which is why Canada reaffirmed its commitment to the Ottawa Convention by announcing $8.3 million to support mine-affected communities, mine action that takes into consideration gender equality in decision-making processes as well as in implementation and the universalization of the convention,” it said.

Canada said the new funding includes $2 million for landmine clearance in northern Sri Lanka, with women comprising close to half of the de-mining workforce.

“In Iraq, we will provide $2 million to continue to support de-mining efforts in areas liberated from Daesh with an initiative that encourages women’s participation in this work,” they said in the statement. Canada has also committed $4.3 million to provide critical institutional support to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian De-mining and Mines Action Canada,” it said.

Canada said ensuring that women and youth are actively involved at all levels of mine-action projects is a priority for Canada. “Doing so improves access to essential services and provides people with opportunities to be agents of change in building safer communities,” it said.

(Source: Daily Mirror)