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Japan supports Mine clearance activities in Bint Jbeil Caza

In a press release by Japan's Embassy in Beirut, it said: "As part of its ongoing support of Lebanon's security and stability, the Government of Japan extended a $450,000 grant to the Norwegian People's Aid (NPA), through the Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security Program, to support mine clearance activities in the village of Rmeich, part of the Caza of Bint Jbeil.

On the occasion of the project completion, on July 9 2019, Mr. Yoshitake Naraoka, Counsellor at the Embassy of Japan to Lebanon, attended a handover ceremony organized by NPA, during which the previously contaminated lands were handed over to their owners, following successful mine clearance works. The Japanese grant helped provide advanced demining equipment to NPA, and covered the operational cost of a mine action team. Its main aim was to limit human casualties and reduce incidents caused by scattered mines and explosives, as well as restore stability to the region.

During the ceremony, Naraoka highlighted the importance of the project in helping citizens retrieve their properties, and exploit them for potential agricultural and developmental purposes. He also stressed Japan's support to Lebanon's prosperity, through funding projects that enhance the security and the economy, and contribute to the creation of a safer environment for both the residents and the refugees. For their part, The Director of LMAC, General Jihad Bechelany, NPA's Project Manager, Mr. Craig McDiarmid, and Head of the Municipality of Rmeich Mr. Albert El Hajj, all expressed their gratitude for the Japanese grant that aimed to improve the livelihoods of the people of the region, hoping that Lebanon will become free of mines in the near future.

Japan has been a constant supporter of mine action operations in Lebanon since 2001. In the past 4 years, the Japanese Government provided more than $5 million to local and international NGOs working on mine and cluster munitions clearance activities across Lebanon."

Source: National News Agency