Global Affairs Canada (GAC) used today’s twenty-year anniversary of the Ottawa Treaty signing to announce a new $12 million contribution to international mine action. According to The Globe and Mail‘s Michelle Zilio, the new commitment will be on top of the $17 million Canada has already contributed to mine action this year.

This new contribution will help fight a global decline in funding for mine action that has threatened to derail the commitment to a landmine free world by 2024. Additionally, it will help support gender equity initiatives within demining projects as part of Canada’s commitment to a feminist international policy.

GAC has indicated that the new funding will be used for mine action in Syria, Ukraine, Cambodia, Laos, and Colombia. Both Syria and Ukraine have experienced significant increases in conventional and improvised mines during recent conflicts, while Cambodia, Laos, and Colombia have high-levels of residual mine and ERW (Explosive Remnants of War) contamination.

The promise is a welcome commitment on an important day for both global mine action and Canadian history. The new funding also brings Canada closer to the $36 million a year goal which groups such as Mine Action Canada believe is necessary to fund all of Canada’s commitments at acceptable levels.