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Japan Funds A New Demining Project In Balkh, Afghanistan

03 Mar 2020 Wadsam Afghanistan Business News

A new demining project worth $508,944 will soon be implemented in four districts of Balkh Province.

An agreement to that effect was signed between Takahashi Yoshiaki, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Japan to Afghanistan, and an Afghan local NGO at the Embassy of Japan on Tuesday.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by government representatives including Najib Aqa Fahim, State Minister of Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs, Mohammad Shafiq Yosufi, Director of Afghanistan Mine Action Coordination (DMAC) and Ali Ahmad Saadat Director of Non-Governmental Organizations at Ministry of Economy.

The project will be implemented in four districts of Balkh Province by Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GAGP). Under this project, around 1,501,305 square meters of minefields and battlefield will be cleared.

All the area that will be cleared is high-quality agricultural or grazing land that has been inaccessible for decades due to presence of mines and explosive remnants of war (ERWs). Once cleared, these areas will be utilized productively by the local communities and this will in turn help mitigate the poverty that still blights many families around the country. Furthermore, the government and other development companies will implement development projects of railways, establishing industrial areas, construction of transit road, power line, production and extraction of gas and oil in this area.  

“Japan is a small country in size, only just two thirds of Afghanistan. Therefore, we all recognize how significant and valuable land is. I believe what landmines block is not only use of land but people’s mind and creativity. So, this project will surely bring you and your future generations unlimited possibility, and this is our hope.” said Yoshiaki.

Since 2012, the contribution of the Government of Japan has helped in clearing 33.6 square kilometers of area which resulted in destroying more than 5,600 anti-personnel and anti-tank mines and almost 38,000 explosive remnants of war. The successful completion of these projects will also contribute to security, safety and development and will assist the Government of Afghanistan in fulfilling its clearance obligations under applicable international mine action treaties.   

Japan has been contributing to the clearance of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERWs) through Grant Assistance for Grassroots Projects (GAGP) in Afghanistan and has been assisting Afghanistan’s nation-building efforts in various fields including security, education, health, culture, humanitarian assistance, agriculture, infrastructure and its capacity development.

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