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Afghanistan

Afghanistan celebrated the International Mine Awareness Day 2015. Photo: Fardin Waezi/UNAMA

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ABOUT

The Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan (MAPA) was established in 1989. In 2012, the Afghan Directorate for Mine Action Coordination (DMAC), formally begun to execute aspects of the mine action programme management of the MAPA, supported by UNMAS.

DMAC has now absorbed most of the Afghan technical mine action personel previously employed by UNMAS, and this process will be completed next year. The Afghan Government has asked UNMAS to continue to support them beyond 2018 with advisory services, and fundraising and fund management.

While almost 79% of the known area contaminated by recorded minefields and battlefields has been cleared, the remaining 21% qualifies Afghanistan as one of the countries most affected by landmines and ERW in the world. In total, 1,467 communities remain affected. Some 3,701 identified hazards remain, impeding development by delaying new road networks, airports, mineral mines, transmission lines and returnee settlement. Humanitarian mine action needs are as great now as they have ever been since the international intervention in Afghanistan in 2001. Afganistan has the sad legacy of once again being the country with the highest recorded casualty levels in the world.

ACTIVITIES

UNMAS assisted the Government of Afghanistan to successfully request a ten-year extension to complete its commitments under the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Treaty. A detailed work plan to achieve mine-free status by 2023 was developed, and UNMAS and its partners continually make progress towards this commitment. However, since 2013 the funding shortfalls have meant that humanitarian clearance targets have not been met. Furthermore, the continued contamination from PPIEDs adds to this commitment – pushing the targets further away. Recommitments to funding are needed to enable Afghanistan to get back on target.

The 31 May 2017 attack in Kabul marked the deadliest militant attack in Afghanistan since 2001, killing an estimated 150 people and injuring another 400, mostly civilians. The Afghan Civilian Assistance Program (ACAP III), which aims to mitigate the immediate and short-term impact of conflict on civilians, responded successfully and swiftly: Relief packages were distributed to 516 eligible families, supporting a total of 3,772 civilians with food and non-food items. ACAP IIII assisted 1,110 people with psychosocial counseling and 184 victims with physical therapy support. Finally, ACAP III also provided over 30 beneficiaries with income generation packages.

Returnees are particularly vulnerable to the risks posed by mines and ERW due to their lack of knowledge on the extent of the contamination and of the attitudes to adopt to protect themselves. UNMAS provides risk education and awareness to returnees at UNHCR encashment centres and IOM transit centres in four provinces.

FUNDING 

Sustained financing is critical to Afghanistan’s plan to be Anti-Personnel mine-free by 2023, in line with the country’s obligations under the Ottawa Treaty. However, funding has dropped to 35% of what it was in 2011. This has casued Afghanistan to fall behind on its Ottawa Treaty 2023 compliance plan, and has undermined its ability to address new humanitarian needs. To meet international commitments and address new threats, Afghanistan needs US $110.1 million this year; currently the programme has received $38.4 million leaving a $71.7 million shortfall. The critical funding gap for UNMAS support to the DMAC this year is approximately US $843,000. This is to support Afghan managed programme management functions, including coordination, advocacy, quality management, data management, and, operations and planning, and to complete the transfer of UNMAS personnel to the DMAC. UNMAS thanks the following donors for their generous support to MAPA through the Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action this project year (1396): United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea. As well as the following donors for continued bilateral support to DMAC and the broader MAPA: Demark, Finland, Germany/PATRIP, Ireland, Japan/AAR, Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States

Updated: October 2017

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IMPACT

  • This year, some 181 people per month are being killed or injured by mines (including pressure plate IEDs (PPIED)) and ERW, up from a historical low of 36 casualties per month in 2012. Weapons contaminaton is – once again – a priority humanitarian concern in Afghanistan. UNMAS is working with the Afghan mine action authority on a plan to bring these numbers – which are largely driven by ERW and PPIEDs – down.
  • Items cleared since 1989: 18,265,173 items of ERW; 726,693 anti-personnel mines (APM) – including 752 abandoned PPIED; 29,696 anti-tank mines. PPIED pose a challenge to the national mine action programme as traditional humanitarian advocacy and clearance approaches developed to deal with the historical mine and ERW contamination are ineffective faced with this new threat. UNMAS will deploy an expert mission later in 2017 to support national advocacy and fundraising efforts, and the above mentioned planning.
  • 25,207 hazardous areas cleared/cancelled; 3,104 square kilometres of land released (incl. firing ranges) since 1989.
  • Between January and September 2017 a total of 1,103,000 people have received Mine/ERW Risk Education; this is only 3% of the Afghan population and so UNMAS will support national efforts to do more.

 

ACAP III MONTHLY REPORTS

2017

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July

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PRESS RELEASES

2016

Japan Contributes $2 Million to Mine Action in Afghanistan

2015

The Clearance of International Military High Explosive Training Ranges Decreases Civilian Casualties in 2015

Japan Provides $2 Million to Mine Action in Afghanistan


NEWS

ACAP III Supports Victims of 19 April 2016 Attack in Kabul

Farid was walking with his father to the market when the explosion hit.

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PHOTOS

Afghanistan Marks International Mine Awareness Day 2015

(April 2015) To raise awareness about landmines and progress toward their eradication, Afghans and their...

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VIDEOS

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