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South Korea contributes $2m for landmine clearance

AT-KABUL: The Republic of Korea contributed two million dollars for clearance of landmines and explosive remnants of war to the United Nations Mine Action Services in Afghanistan.

This contribution would benefit an estimated 70,000 people living in proximity of contaminated areas, the contribution of South Korea will fund the clearance of contaminated areas prioritized in line with Afghanistan’s obligations under the Ottawa Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Treaty.

It include two clearance projects would take place in Paktiya and Khost province, and release an estimated total area of 1.41 million square meters of land.

Approximately 200.000 people receive risk education, including 50,000 internally displaced persons, who are particularly at risk as they move through unfamiliar areas.

The first secretary of the Korean embassy in Kabul said that the clearance of landmines and risk education efforts provided under this contribution would help this post-conflict nation to consolidate peace and rehabilitation.

He added the Republic of Korea will stay committed to supporting humanitarian endeavor to eliminate the negative impact of landmines and explosive remnant of war in Afghanistan.

The UNMAS program manager Jeffrey McMurdo said: “As the Mine Action Program of Afghanistan continues to work towards the deadline of a mine-free Afghanistan in 2013, South Korea’s generous contribution is a clear demonstration of support for this goal.

He added that peace and security in Afghanistan cannot be fully achieved until all remnants of war are removed.

Director of the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Mohammad ShafiqYosufi, Autority’s Directorate of Mine Action Coordination (DMAC), the government’s administration for mine action, welcomed the contribution. “The Government and people of Afghanistan are grateful to the Government and People of South Korea for the increased financial assistance they have provided for the Mine Action Program of Afghanistan. As a result of South Korea’s contribution, communities will be safer. The funds will also have a positive impact in the implementation of socio‐economic activities and will help the Government of Afghanistan to fulfill its obligations towards the mine action related international conventions”. In addition to funding grants to UNMAS implementing partners, the contribution from the Republic of Korea will enable effective coordination and quality management of the mine action activities. It will also enable the continuation of ongoing efforts to transfer responsibility for these functions from the United Nations to the Government of Afghanistan, which aims to ensure the program’s sustainability.

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