MAG is delighted to welcome the Government of Australia's renewed A$ 1 million (£530,000) commitment to supporting MAG and our national partner Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony (DASH) to rid Sri Lanka of the deadly legacy of landmines.
Australia has supported demining in Sri Lanka since 2009. The additional funding will help make safe a further 220,000m² of contaminated land — which is about the size of 15 cricket pitches.
When the land is cleared of landmines and unexploded bombs, communities can live, work and play free from fear.
The latest grant will support over 5,000 women, girls, boys and men in Sri Lanka.
During a visit to see MAG's work in Mannar district, Australian High Commissioner David Holly said Australia was pleased to be continuing its successful partnership with MAG.
"We are pleased to have partnered with MAG, and their partner DASH, to have delivered impressive results in demining following the end of the war in the North and Eastern provinces," he said.
The vital support from the Australian government will help release large areas of contaminated land and support the livelihood of communities while boosting economic development potential in the North and East of Sri Lanka.
Welcoming the new funding, MAG country director Valentina Stivanello said: “MAG is very grateful to Australia for its generous support, which together with our partner DASH, helped us release over 500,000m² of land, benefitting about 30,000 people since 2018.”
DASH programme manager, Ananda Chandrasiri, added: “The elimination of the terrible legacy of landmines is essential for the future of Sri Lanka. DASH is grateful for the opportunity to continue clearing our country from landmines, and we hope it will inspire further efforts until Sri Lanka is declared mine-free”
The project will support the Sri Lankan Government to achieve the goal of a Landmine Free 2025.
The three-decade-long civil war in Sri Lanka ended in 2009, leaving behind over 2,000km² of contaminated land. Today, minefields cover about 13km² of land in Sri Lanka. Land that could be used for housing, farming, schools and clinics.
Since 2002, MAG has cleared over 43 km² of land and found and safely disposed of over 92,000 landmines and unexploded items.