The HALO Trust has welcomed a pledge of £1.2 million from British Minister for the UN and Commonwealth Baroness Anelay on a visit to Sri Lanka. She said:
Demining is vital to enable families to re-build their lives after conflict. I was pleased I had the opportunity when I was in Jaffna yesterday to visit Tellipalai to see what a difference this is making to communities that have been displaced from their homes for many years. I am delighted that the UK will be providing £1.2 million to the HALO Trust over the next three years to support your Government’s target to clear all mines by 2020.
The HALO Trust currently employs over 500 local staff in Sri Lanka and is working to clear minefields from Jaffna’s former High Security Zones to facilitate the return of thousands of families displaced up to 20 years ago. HALO also has teams working in Kilinochchi to remove mines laid by the LTTE in the later stages of the 30-year conflict.
Around 45 per cent of HALO’s Sri Lankan workforce are women, many of whom were left widowed by the conflict and are now sole breadwinners for multiple dependants.
Since 2002 HALO has cleared more than 200,000 mines in Northern Sri Lanka.