Japan contributes five million to demining in South Sudan

22 Mar 2013

Japan contributes five million to demining in South Sudan

19 March 2013 - The Japanese government has announced it will contribute $5 million to set up quick reaction teams to clear mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) in South Sudan, according to a UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) statement released today.

The funding will allow an UNMAS project termed "Creation of Emergency Rapid Response Multi-Tasking Teams in South Sudan" to set up six teams in the country, the statement said.

The teams will provide emergency rapid response to protect communities, refugees and internally displaced people against the threat of ERW and landmines and enable humanitarian access to affected areas.

In addition, they will survey and clear areas to free up swaths of land and allow development projects and infrastructure reconstruction, complementing the work of the Japanese Engineering Contingent.

"We hope that our support will contribute to ... opening roads and freeing land, enabling farmers to cultivate their land and allowing their children to safely go to school without the fear of stepping on a landmine," said Special Representative and Head of the Liaison Office of the Government of Japan in Juba Takeshi Akamatsu.

The teams will also conduct needs surveys, assist with impact monitoring and provide advice on ammunition inventories and storage methodologies across South Sudan.

Through the Japanese-funded project, it is expected that at least 360 suspected dangerous areas will be cleared or verified free of hazards and released to the population for use. The project will assist over 4.9 million South Sudanese people.

"This funding will be used to clear mines and other ERW in critical areas," said Lance Malin, UNMAS South Sudan Programme Manager. "These activities will not only directly save lives; they will also clear land for agriculture, infrastructure and other development."