MAG is delighted to welcome a fresh AUD 800,000 (£440,000) commitment from the Government of Australia to support our efforts to rid Sri Lanka of the deadly legacy of landmines.
Australia has supported demining in Sri Lanka since 2009. The additional funding will help return a further 190,000m2 of contaminated land to communities for productive use supporting an estimated 7,750 people.
During a visit to see MAG's work in Mannar district, Australian Deputy High Commissioner, Ms Victoria Coakley expressed her appreciation for the difficult work deminers are doing to ensure Sri Lanka becomes mine impact free:
“Australia has been a consistent supporter of mine clearance in Sri Lanka since the end of the 26-year conflict in 2009. Our commitment to demining has contributed to the safe resettlement of displaced people, their ability to earn a livelihood, and has supported development in areas of greatest need. I am pleased to be here today to announce a continuation of our support to Sri Lanka to become landmine free, to save lives and ensure a future for communities living in, or who wish to return to, these areas.”
Welcoming the new funding, MAG Country Director Ms Valentina Stivanello said:
“MAG is honoured to receive support from Australia, an esteemed donor for Humanitarian Mine Action projects both within Sri Lanka and around the world. In the last two years alone, the partnership between MAG Sri Lanka, DASH and Australia has enabled the removal and destruction of over 2,200 explosive items. It has helped many people to rebuild their lives and livelihoods in Mannar, Vavuniya and Kilinochchi districts through its clearance operations.
The vital support from the Australian government will not only contribute to saving lives but also building futures for the most mine-affected and communities in Sri Lanka.
With this funding, MAG, in partnership with the local demining organisation Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony (DASH), will be able to continue to support Sri Lanka’s efforts to achieve the goal of a Landmine Free 2025.