The Japanese Embassy in Beirut announced in a statement on Saturday that it would provide a grant of $630,145 to help the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) in Lebanon purchase new mine-clearance equipment.
MAG is a non-governmental organization that assists people affected by mines, cluster bombs, and other unexploded ordnance. It has been operating in Lebanon since 2001.
Once purchased, the new equipment will facilitate MAG‘s landmine action in various villages in the Marjaayoun District in southern Lebanon, including Houla, Mays El-Jabal, Blida, Markabah, and Amrah.
Many areas in Lebanon, especially those closer to the southern border, are infested with mines and unexploded ordnance that resulted from the conflicts that the country was involved with in the past.
Japanese Ambassador to Lebanon Takeshi Okubo and MAG’s country director for Lebanon, Sylvain Lefort, had signed the agreement of the grant on Friday, the Japanese Embassy said in the statement.
The Embassy noted that MAG has cleared landmines and unexploded ordnance across Lebanon in cooperation with Japan over the past 7 years and protected thousands of people from the threats of explosives.
“In recognition of the organization’s achievement in this regard, Japan decided to provide more support to its operations in Lebanon by modernizing the special equipment and covering expenses through this grant,” it explained.
Through this grant, MAG will be able to assist 15,500 citizens in Lebanon, including Syrian refugees, and secure safe access to agricultural lands, the statement said.