Nov 08, 2016

£1.2 million allocated from UK funding for demining North

The UK government has allocated £1.2 million to demine Sri Lanka’s North over the next three years, aiming to facilitate the early resettlement of war displaced people in island’s North.

The allocation of £1.2 million is from the £6.6 million UK funding for Sri Lanka.

UK Minister for the UN and Commonwealth Baroness Joyce Anelay, who is currently in Sri Lanka, Monday confirmed this allocation after visiting a demining site in the former war-zone and meeting former IDPs who had recently returned to their land.

“UK committed to supporting the HALO Trust for demining in Sri Lanka. Great to meet beneficiaries of UK Funding since 2010,” she said in a twitter message.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s government at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta last year, announced £6.6 million to Sri Lanka “to support reconciliation, military reform and to help people who were forced from their towns and villages during the civil war to return home”.

The UK government said it will fund British demining charity “The HALO Trust to remove mines in order to facilitate the return of internally displaced people (IDPs)”.

Through this work, it said that “The HALO Trust aims to improve the lives of up to 40,000 people in the North”.

The visiting UK Minister said that the demining was essential to ensure the safety of those returning to their homes and land following the conflict.

“It is important for displaced people to return as soon as possible in order to rebuild their lives. During my meetings with women’s groups and female heads of households in the North, I heard about the difficulties they faced in finding suitable employment and providing for their families,” Minister Baroness Anelay said.