Japan and ITF Strengthen Partnership
Today, H. E. Mr Kozuya Ogawa, Ambassador of Japan in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and Ambassador Damjan Bergant, ITF director, signed a new grant, where the Government of Japan allocated new 314,787 EUR through ITF to support the activities of demining and technical survey. The grant envisions support for projects in Busovača municipality (on 5 project locations) and Ilijaš municipality (on 3 project locations) in the total size of 295,638 m² – 182,814 m² in Busovača and 112,824 m² in Ilijaš municipalities.
Since 1998, the Government of Japan has donated almost 2.24 million EUR through ITF for mine action activities in BiH, with which a total of 1.6 million m² of land was demined on 46 project locations in municipalities of Gračanica, Petrovo, Lukavac, Velika Kladuša, Bihać, Šamac, Domaljevac-Šamac, Donji Žabar and Brčko District, where 365 mines and UXO were found and removed from the ground.
The importance of the demining process in BiH has a much more profound importance than the mere removal of mines and unexploded ordnance from the soil. This process, apart from enhancing basic human and personal security, gives support to the process of socio-economic development and reconciliation, empowers every single individual with basic human rights, as well as addresses and supports a wider context of BiH’s EU accession processes. ITF is grateful to the Government of Japan for recognizing these questions as key to BiH’s future, and for building a strong partnership with ITF.
The projects in BiH financed by Japan could not be realized through ITF without the partnership with the U.S. ITF thanks the Government of the United States of America (U.S.) for the preparedness for trilateral cooperation of project implementation in BiH.
Overall, 192.5 million USD of donor funds were implemented through ITF in BiH, which enabled the demining of 77.3 million m² of mine fields on 2,444 project locations, removing almost 40,000 mines and UXO.