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Sri Lanka

Volume 404: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what role humanitarian mine action will play in supporting the peace process in Sri Lanka; and if she will make a statement. [111069]

Humanitarian Mine Action is critical for the Sri Lankan peace process. The civil war has displaced nearly one million people in the North and East of the Island. Helping these people and their families return to their former homes, and restart their livelihoods, will build confidence in the peace process and will help foster an environment in which peace can be sustained. However, many of these families are unable to benefit from the peace process. They are living in camps, prevented from returning home because of mines.DFID is a major supporter of mine action in Sri Lanka. We have provided over £1 million through the United Nations for demining and public awareness. Further support will be provided within a £6 million contribution recently approved to support UNICEF's Children Affected By Armed Conflict programme. In addition Britain also contributes to the support for mine action which the European Union finances through international and local NGOs in Sri Lanka.