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Syria

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UNMAS Syria Response ensures that the humanitarian mine action sector is an integral part of the humanitarian emergency response. With the objective to reduce the impact of explosive hazards on civilians and humanitarian workers, humanitarian mine action is a critical component of the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP).

Risk Education (RE) is a critical priority in Syria. UNMAS, humanitarian partners and public service organisations reached 738,207 beneficiaries and trained 1,530 risk educators across Syria. UNMAS and partners also train humanitarian workers in risk awareness in support of safe humanitarian access.

Surveying and marking hazardous areas has been carried out in 19 different sub-districts in North West and South Syria. UNMAS and the MASC continue to implement Contamination Impact Surveys (CIS), helping to ensure the safety of civilians and humanitarian actors.

Information Management (IM) is central to UNMAS core coordination function as it facilitates needs-based prioritization; efficiently tailoring the response to specific needs, increasing the effectiveness of the sector response and laying the foundations for future activities. UNMAS and humanitarian mine action partners provided Victim Assistance (VA) services, from medical referrals to prosthetics and rehabilitation support, to 2,456 people. VA remains severely underfunded and under-implemented to answer needs across Syria

ABOUT

Entering its eighth year, the conflict in Syria has been characterized by the pervasive use of explosive weaponry in populated areas, compounding a complex humanitarian crisis. Since January 2015, there have been on average 162 reported explosive incidents per day. The resulting explosive hazard contamination poses a serious threat to Syrians and humanitarian response activities. According to the 2018 Humanitarian Needs Overview, 8.2 million men, women, and children are now living in communities reporting explosive hazards and are exposed to the threat of grave injuries and death on a daily basis. Contamination from the ongoing conflict includes explosive remnants of war (ERW), improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and landmines. The destruction and potential explosive hazard contamination of residential areas and key infrastructure, such as hospitals, schools, roads, has deprived civilians of basic services while hampering safe return of displaced population. Presence of explosive hazards is a lethal barrier to movement, delivery of humanitarian aid, and endanger those seeking refuge from violence.

Mine action is an imperative humanitarian need in Syria and the overall objective of UNMAS is to reduce the impact of explosive hazards on civilians and humanitarian operators. Due to access constraints on explosive hazards clearance, UNMAS operations are for the moment focusing on preventative action, such as by providing financial and technical support to community impact survey and risk education activities, as well as integrating RE across the wider humanitarian response. UNMAS also provides overall coordination for the humanitarian mine action sector to address the most urgent needs, and also fund the implementation of victim assistance projects supporting survivors of explosive incidents and their families. UNMAS support the overall humanitarian sector through technical advice and the provision of safety training.

ACTIVITIES

FUNDING 

By June 2018, UNMAS secured 49% of its USD 14.8 million appeal for coordination, risk education, impact survey, victim assistance, and clearance activities in line with the draft 2018 HRP. Upon approval of the 2018 HRP and in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions, the activities and funding appeal may vary to reflect humanitarian activities included in the response to the Syrian crisis. While UNMAS has secured core funding for 2018, the Programme is still seeking further support for humanitarian mine action activities for areas most in need. UNMAS is supported with the generous contributions from Japan, Germany, Australia, Italy, the Czech Republic, Estonia, and the OCHA Humanitarian Pooled Fund for Syria.

Updated: June 2018

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IMPACT

Since the establishment of the Mine Action Sub Cluster (MASC) in 2015, Humanitarian Mine Action in Syria has contributed to:

  • 3,400,000 Reached with risk education
  • 17,400 Trained to deliver risk education and awareness
  • 4,000 Survivors Of explosive hazard incidents received specialized victim assistance
  • 211 Communities Surveyed for explosive hazard contamination
  • 425 Sub Districts Covered by humanitarian mine action activities