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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 began to execute aspects of the mine action programme management of the MAPA, supported by UNMAS.

The DMAC has now absorbed most of the Afghan technical mine action personnel previously employed by UNMAS; this process will be completed this year. The Afghan Government has asked UNMAS for continued support 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, 1,425 communities remain affected. Some 3,578 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.

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 annual humanitarian clearance targets have not been met. Furthermore, new contamination from improvised mines adds to this commitment. Between January 2017 and February 2018, VTF cleared 3.3 sq km area and destroyed 128 AP mines, 26 AT mines and 426 ERW.

From 2015 – 2017, UNMAS implemented the ‘Afghan Civilian Assistance Program’, providing immediate and short-term assistance to over 149,000 civilian victims of conflict, including victims of mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). In 2018, UNMAS hopes to build on this work and deliver further critical assistance to civilians impacted by conflict - UNMAS has received funding from OCHA to continue immediate assistance to victims of conflicts including mine/ERW and improvised mines (reported as PPIED in UNAMA reports).

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. Another 700,000 returnees are anticipated from Pakistan in 2018 and UNMAS has prepared to respond.

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 41% 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 has requested US $85.1 million for clearance activities this year out of a total budget of $99.3 million. UNMAS thanks the following donors for their generous support to MAPA through the Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action this project year (1397): Canada, Japan, and DFID. As well as the following donors for continued bilateral support to DMAC and the broader MAPA: Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, OCHA, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States.

Updated: April 2018

Programme of:

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IMPACT

  • In 2018 (January and February) some 138 Afghans were killed or injured by landmines (including improvised landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW)). Contamination from explosive hazards is – once again – a priority humanitarian concern in Afghanistan. UNMAS is working with the Afghan mine action authority and other stakeholders on a plan to bring these numbers – which are largely driven by ERW and improvised landmines – down.
  • Humanitarian mine action actors in Afghanistan have cleared some 18.2 million items of ERW; some 730,450 Anti-Personnel Mines (APM) – including over 750 improvised landmines; and some 30,000 Anti-Tank Mines (ATM). Improvised landmines pose a challenge to the national mine action programme as traditional humanitarian advocacy, risk education and clearance approaches developed to deal with the historical landmine and ERW contamination are ineffective faced with this new threat.
  • 25,464 hazardous areas cleared/cancelled; 3,051 square kilometres of land released since 1989.
  • Over 25 million individuals received explosive hazard risk education sessions delivered by humanitarian mine action actors.

 

ACAP III MONTHLY REPORTS

2017

November

October

September

August

July

June

May

April

March

February

January


 

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