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Harper Government observes the International Day for Mine Awareness
April 4, 2013
The Harper Government is committed to assisting with landmine clearing, education on landmine detection, and programs that work with victims of landmine accidents. Today, on the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, highlighted a few of the ways that Canada is helping to eradicate the use of landmines and enhance the lives of landmine survivors.
"Most often the victim of a landmine isn't a combatant: instead it's a child, a woman, or a man simply going about their daily lives," said Minister Fantino. "Our Government is proud to contribute to programs that help prevent future accidents and to work with those who have been victimized by landmines."
Economic Action Plan 2013 reaffirms Canada's commitment to international development assistance, such as mine awareness and landmine victim assistance. As announced in EAP2013, the Harper Government will enshrine the responsibilities of the Minister and the priority of international development and humanitarian assistance, for the first time ever, into law. The new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will enhance the coordination of international assistance with broader Canadian values and objectives.
"Canada's international development investments play a vital role in improving the lives of those most in need around the world," said Minister Fantino. "It is a tangible expression of the best of Canadian values and a demonstration of our unwavering support for freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law."
To mark the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, here are a few of the projects supported by the Harper Government to help some of the most vulnerable victims of war in some of the most dangerous parts of the world:
- The Assistance to Landmine Survivors project in Colombia helps ensure that landmine survivors, especially children and youth, disabled people, and persons excluded because of crippling injuries, benefit from services to which they are entitled.
- The Landmine Clearing for Results project in Cambodia helped clear more than 35 km2 of land and strengthen the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority. This project saw a decrease in the number of recorded landmine casualties, from 145 in 2010 down to 98 in 2011, which exceeded targets. From the recently cleared land, more than 15,000 people benefited directly from new housing and agricultural opportunities. And more than 200,000 people benefited indirectly through risk reduction and through the public use of the cleared land for a school, roads, a pagoda, and other infrastructure.
- Through the Physical Rehabilitation of Landmine Victims in the Middle East project, Canada helped improve the quality of life and the functional capacity of surviving landmine victims in the Middle East by helping train more than 3,000 people in fields related to physical rehabilitation, such as orthotics and prosthetics, patient-treatment approaches, and records management.
- The Support to Mine Action Program for Afghanistan, one of the most heavily mined countries in the world, has contributed to clearing 18,027 hazardous areas, covering more than 1,522 km2. As a result, 112 districts and 1,996 communities are no longer affected by landmines or explosive remnants of war.
For more information on what Canada is doing, please visit our page on landmines.
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For more information, media should contact:
Daniel Bezalel Richardsen
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
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