Baroness Anelay visited Jaffna and confirmed £1.2 million of UK funding to remove land mines in the north of Sri Lanka over the next 3 years.
This forms part of the £6.6 million in funding for Sri Lanka announced at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta last year.
The UK will fund British demining charity The HALO Trust to remove mines in order to facilitate the return of internally displaced people (IDPs). Through this work The HALO Trust aims to improve the lives of up to 40,000 people in the North.
Whilst in Jaffna, Baroness Anelay visited a HALO Trust demining site and met former IDPs who had recently returned to their land.
Baroness Anelay said:
Demining is essential to ensure the safety of those returning to their homes and land following the conflict. It is important for displaced people to return as soon as possible in order to rebuild their lives. During my meetings with women’s groups and female heads of households in the North, I heard about the difficulties they faced in finding suitable employment and providing for their families.