As part of its ongoing support for Lebanon’s security and stability, the Government of Japan extended a grant of 628,160 US dollars to the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), through the Grant Assistance for Grass-roots Human Security Program, to support their mine clearance activities in Houla, Meiss El Jabal, and Markaba villages in Nabatieh Governorate. Through this grant, MAG cleared 83,885 m2 lands, which will be used for agricultural and residential purposes, benefiting around 22,490 residents and Syrian refugees in the area.
On September 24, 2020, in celebration of the project, Ambassador OKUBO Takeshi
attended an online inauguration ceremony. The ceremony was virtually attended by
Mr. Sylvain Lefort, Country Director of MAG; Mr. Abed Al Monain Shokair, Mayor
of the Meiss El Jabal municipality; Brigadier General Jihad Bechalaney, Director of the Lebanon Mine Action Centre (LMAC); and representatives of the beneficiaries of the project.
The ceremony started with playing the national anthems of Lebanon and Japan,
followed by a hand-over ceremony of cleared landmines to residents. Videos of the purchased demining equipment, the cleared landmines, and congratulatory remarks from representatives of each party were played.
In his speech, MAG’s Country Director Lefort expressed his appreciation for Japan’s generous assistance and his commitment to continuous support to clear remaining contaminated lands in the area. Mayor Shokair & LMAC’s President Bechalaney also extended his deep gratitude for Japan’s continuous support to Lebanon in the mine action field. Mr. Mostafa Karout, a representative of the residents, also expressed his gratitude towards Japan’s contribution to where their towns stand.
Ambassador Okubo commended MAG and LAMC for their great support for the communities, and assured that Japan would stand ready to continue supporting Lebanon in these difficult times under the socio-economic crisis, pandemic, and the tragedy on August 4.
Source: National News Agency