U.S.-Funded UNICEF Mine Risk Education Begins

Children in Sri Lanka learn how to avoid mines
Children in Mullaitivu learn how to avoid mines through the U.S.-funded UNICEF program.

For Immediate Release

Thursday, December 20, 2012
Embassy of the United States of America, Colombo, Public Affairs Section
+94 (1) 249-810

A United States Government grant of $500,000 will help 150,000 residents in the Northern and Eastern Provinces avoid landmines and explosive remnants of war. Beginning this week in Mullaitivu, resettling communities are participating in mine risk education activities funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of State Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement. Implemented by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), the mine risk education falls under a program that supports safe resettlement and restores livelihoods.

“Mine risk education is a pre-requisite to ensure safety of the communities living in the former conflict zones. Our aim is to educate the people living in mine-infested areas as well as those traveling to them and thereby to reduce potential risks,” said USAID Sri Lanka’s Mission Director, James Bednar.

“As more families are resettled in conflict-affected areas, the exposure to mines and explosive remnants of war will increase” said UNICEF Representative, Reza Hossaini. “Sustained mine risk education is critical for the protection of families. This partnership with the U.S. Government will enable the safety and well-being of communities.”

The initiative will disseminate data on casualties and suspected mined areas, prepare mine risk education materials, provide community and school-based mine risk education, and develop village mine action plans.

The American people, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, have provided development and humanitarian assistance in developing countries worldwide for nearly 50 years. Since 1956, the U.S. government has invested over $2 billion to benefit all the people of Sri Lanka.

UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. For more information visit: www.unicef.org/srilanka or www.facebook.com/UNICEFSriLanka

Last updated: September 29, 2017

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