Japan donates 665,797 EUR to ITF for demining and technical survey activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Today, Japan and the United States jointly announced two projects to demine 530,097 square meters of land in Bosnia and Herzegovina. H.E. Mr. Kazuya Ogawa, Ambassador of Japan to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) hosted a signing ceremony of Grant Contracts at the Embassy of Japan in Sarajevo on 14 July 2015 at 12:00 hrs. H.E. Ms. Maureen Cormack, U.S. Ambassador to BiH and H.E. Mr. Damjan Bergant, Ambassador, Director of ITF Enhancing Human Security (ITF) attended the ceremony.
During the ceremony, H.E. Mr. Kazuya Ogawa, Ambassador of Japan to BiH, and H.E. Mr. Damjan Bergant, Ambassador, Director of ITF signed two Grant Contracts: the Grant Contract in the amount of 354,071 EUR for the support of demining activities in Šamac and Donji Žabar Municipalities, and the Grant Contract in the amount of 311,726 EUR for the support of demining activities in Domaljevac-Šamac Municipality and Brčko District. “With the implementation of these two projects a total of 530,097 square meters of mine affected land will be released by methods of demining and technical survey and handed over to the local population. Japan has thus far provided around 8 million EUR for different humanitarian demining projects in BiH,” said Ambassador Ogawa.
It should be noted that the two demining projects would not be realized without the U.S. cooperation. The projects are co-financed by the U.S. Embassy in BiH in the amount of 40,000 EUR for the project administration costs. “The grant contracts signed today mark another step forward towards ensuring that every citizen of BiH can live without fear of landmines,” Ambassador Cormack remarked during the ceremony. She added, “There is still much work to be done before that goal will be realized, but as the largest donor country, the U.S. is proud of the progress that has been made.” Ambassador Ogawa expressed appreciation for the U.S. cooperation, stating “These projects are realized by the U.S. Cooperation. This is a good example of Japan-U.S. cooperation for benefit of all people in BiH”.
The ceremony was also attended by BHMAC Acting Director Mr. Milan Rezo and representatives of the three municipalities (Šamac, Donji Žabar and Domaljevac-Šamac) and Brčko District.
Since its establishment in 1998, ITF raised over 384 million USD of donations and cleared 129.7 million square meters of land in South East Europe (SEE), the South Caucasus, and Lebanon. ITF remains devoted to its mission in BiH with 183 million USD raised for mine action activities to date, through which over 68 million square meters of mine and unexploded ordnance affected land has been cleared. Japan is ITF’s longstanding partner who has so far contributed more than 1.3 million EUR to ITF for various mine action programs in SEE.