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Afghanistan

Special event "Afghanistan 2023 - Mine Free" on the occasion of the International Mine Awareness Day. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

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ABOUT UNMAS IN AFGHANISTAN: THE MINE ACTION PROGRAMME OF AFGHANISTAN (MAPA)

Fifty-two humanitarian and commercial organisations comprise one of the largest mine action programmes in the world. What is collectively known as the Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan (MAPA) provides employment for over 8,000 Afghans. In 2002, the Government of Afghanistan designated responsibility for mine action to the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and subsidiary body, the Mine Action Coordination Centre for Afghanistan (MACCA). In 2008, the Government assigned the Department of Mine Clearance (DMC), under the Afghan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA), to work with MACCA and UNMAS to address the problem of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) and assist the Government in meeting its obligations under the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Treaty (APMBT).

ACHIEVEMENTS

MAPA has achieved a great deal during its 26 years of operation: 22,995 hazardous areas cleared; 2,067 square kilometres of land released; 16,543,765 items of unexploded ordnance destroyed; 682,353 anti-personnel mines cleared; 30,850 anti-tank mines safely removed and disposed of; and 739 abandoned improvised explosive devices destroyed. Civilian casualties from mines and ERW dropped from 16 daily in 1998 to 1 daily in 2014.

Over the last two years, UNMAS provided technical assistance to the Afghan Government, which requested a 10-year extension to its deadline for meeting APMBT commitments. The strategic plan required to achieve mine-free status by 2023 involves 308 projects and is now managed by MACCA. The target for the first year was achieved on 31 March 2014.

The Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities was also ratified by the Government in 2012 with UNMAS counsel.

The roles of UNMAS and MACCA split in 2012, leaving MACCA staffed entirely by Afghan nationals, an achievement in and of itself. Additional steps to transfer responsibility for mine action from the UN to the Afghan Government are in progress, with the DMC strengthened by appointing a senior MACCA staff member as Director and drafting mine action legislation.

While MAPA has seen excellent results in Afghanistan, funding cuts threaten further headway. Allocations focused on this country are imperative so recent progress is not wasted and Afghanistan becomes mine-free by 2023.

CHALLENGES

Although 81 per cent of minefields have been cleared, the remainder is enough to classify Afghanistan as one of the most contaminated in the world. An average of 38 civilians were injured or killed each month in 2014. Nearly one million Afghans (3 per cent of the population) live within 500 metres of landmines and ERW, and 1,578 communities remain affected in 246 districts across the country. Over 120 square kilometres of minefields impede upon national infrastructure projects (highway and road networks, airports, coal mines, transmission lines, new settlements, etc.), delaying implementation until clearance.

While an ongoing challenge involves new contamination from continued conflict, new challenges are emerging as a result of unexploded ordnance contamination in international military facilities and firing ranges following the withdrawal of forces.

FUNDING OVERVIEW 

To reach the second target under the APMBT, the programme needs an additional USD 35.4 million.

Sustained financing is critical for MAPA to declare Afghanistan mine-free by 2023. Achieving this goal would be truly historic for Afghanistan and the world. If funds are not secured, Afghanistan will not fulfill its international obligations under the APMBT and mine-affected communities will continue to live with the presence of mines and ERW. 

A short proposal for support over the next two years can be found here: http://www.macca.org.af/macca/proposals-requiring-funding/

UNMAS thanks the following donors for their generous support to MAPA through the Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Netherlands, Oman, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America and the European Union.

FUNDING NEEDED 

 

1393 (April 2014 – March 2015)

 

Coordination

VA

Demining

MRE

Funding needed

7,600,000

3,500,000

64,300,000

1,500,000

VTF - Existing

4,691,826

455,451

6,076,728

361,030

Bilateral - Existing

500,000

448,868

29,193,599

1,009,786

NEEDED for 1393

2,408,174

2,595,681

30,299,673

129,184

 

Updated: February 2015

Programme of:

UNMAS Logo

LINKS

MACCA Website

PRESS RELEASES

 

NEWS

UN-Backed Afghan Agency Cleared Over 1,900 Minefields Last Year – Report (24 Oct 2013)

Afghanistan Appeals to Donors for Continued Funding for Its Mine Action Programme (11 Nov 2013)


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