£3m of aid allocated to save extra 50,000 people from landmines

Britain is set to help save an extra 50,000 vulnerable people around the world from the threat of landmines.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said more children than ever are dying as a result of the "cruel, indiscriminate killers".

UK aid will help save the lives of 50,000 more people in South Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Burma and Cambodia by clearing mines from more than five million square metres of land - the equivalent of more than 19,000 tennis courts.

The £3 million of aid will also pay for an education programme for vulnerable communities about the dangers of landmines.

According to the latest figures, 2016 saw more child casualties than ever before and the highest number of total fatalities on record for more than 15 years.

More than 8,600 people were injured and more than 2,000 people killed during the year by landmines and other explosive devices left behind by conflict.

The announcement has been timed to mark International Mine Awareness Day on Wednesday.

Cabinet meeting
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt (Kirsty O'Connor/PA)

"It is unforgivable that more innocent children than ever are being maimed or killed by landmines which have been left behind by decades of devastating wars," Ms Mordaunt said.

"Today we are extending UK aid support to help save an extra 50,000 people in future years by educating them about the dangers of mines and also by decontaminating land littered with the devices.

"This will allow the poorest people to grow crops and their children to walk to school in areas which were once off limits.

"Landmines are deadly devices, that have no place in today's world. No one should be forced to live in fear of losing a limb, their life or a child to these cruel, indiscriminate killers."

UK aid has cleared mines from 140 million square metres of contaminated land across the world, including in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

In an event with Prince Harry last year the Department for International Development made a £100 million commitment to make 15 million square metres of land safe again over a three year period.

This announcement, of £3 million of UK aid to South Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Burma and Cambodia for a three-month period, is a new allocation from this support.

It will be delivered by the Halo Trust, MAG and Norwegian People's Aid.

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