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

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Collectively known as the Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan (MAPA), mine action implementers in Afghanistan form one of the largest mine action programmes in the world. In 2002, the Government of Afghanistan entrusted interim responsibility for mine action to the United Nations, via a coordination body managed by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS). In January 2008, through the modality of an Inter‐Ministerial Board (IMB) for Mine Action, the Government designated the Department of Mine Clearance (DMC) under the Afghan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) to work jointly with the UN coordination body, Mine Action Coordination Centre of Afghanistan (MACCA).


Mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) affect a significant number of Afghan communities: 4,681 minefields and 192 battlefield areas threaten the lives and livelihoods of 1,655 Afghan communities in the country. Over 670,000 Afghans (3% of the population) live within 500 meters of contaminated areas. The majority of land requiring clearance impacts agricultural development, a significant obstacle in a country where 70% of the labour force earns an income through farming or animal husbandry. Currently, mines/ERW injure or kill an average of 31 civilians per month. MAPA is achieving excellent results but funding cuts by donors and a dangerous operating environment threaten this progress. In recent months, there has been an increase in civilian ERW accidents caused by lack of clearance of closed ISAF bases and firing ranges, a serious issue that must be dealt with by NATO/ISAF. 


The MAPA has over 20 years of experience delivering mine action and has cleared  21,526 hazard areas throughout Afghanistan, releasing 1,860 sq km of land for productive use. Presently, 53 mine action organizations work in Afghanistan, employing 12,000 personnel. In 2012, UNMAS and MACCA formally separated, a remarkable achievement as, after more than 13 years of operation in Afghanistan, UNMAS has created a fully-functioning national entity staffed entirely by Afghans. Moreover, the DMC was strengthened through the appointment of a senior MACCA staff member as DMC Director. In 2012, UNMAS assisted the Afghan Government to request a ten-year extension to the (AP) Mine Ban Treaty and drafted a detailed plan to declare Afghanistan mine-free by 2023. The Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities was also ratified by the Government in 2012 with the counsel of UNMAS.


The Government of Afghanistan acceded to the Ottawa AP Mine Ban Treaty in 2002 and, as a result, is legally obligated to clear all known areas contaminated by AP mines. In 2012, with the support of UNMAS and MACCA, the Afghan Government successfully requested a ten-year extension to the Treaty to meet its Article 5 obligations. As part of this extension, mine action stakeholders have elaborated a plan to clear the remaining known hazardous areas that were affecting 1,663 communities over the next ten years (with a completion deadline of 2023). The first two years of this plan cover the periods of April 2013 to March 2015 (Afghan years 1392 and 1393) and require resources to complete 97 clearance projects. This will cost USD 70.9 million for the first year and USD 64.5 million for the second year.  


Sustained donor support is critical to success of the MAPA and its ability to declare Afghanistan mine-free by 2023. Achieving this goal would be a truly historical success story for Afghanistan. If funding is not secured to meet the work plan developed, Afghanistan will likely not meet its international obligations to the Ottawa Treaty and communities and mine-affected communities will continue to live with the presence of mines and ERW.  

  Coordination VA Demining MRE
Aspired and planned 8,751,281  2,500,000 70,400,000 2,150,000
Bilateral Funding - - 54,105,408 -
Existing in VTF 7,796,592   705,048    7,977,388    604,549
Needed  954,689   1,794,952  8,317,205   1,545,451 


Updated August 2013


Programme of:



Actors: 53 different stakeholders, who employ over 12,000 people across 59 districts in 19 provinces

Land cleared: 1,860 sq km since 1989 to May 2013

Devices destroyed:

  •  662,732 AP mines
  • 27,597 AT mines
  • 707 abandoned IEDs
  • 16,145,516 unexploded ordnance


Reduction in victims by 40% from 2006 rates

Examples of socio-economic impact of clearance:                                  

  • Kabul University
  • Ministry of Agriculture Irrigation &  Livestock                                  
  • Aliabad Hospital
  • Kabul International Airport (KIA)
  • Kabul to Hairatan Power Line Project
  • Aynak Copper Mine



MACCA Website


Japan Provides US$3.6 million to Support Mine Action in Afghanistan (25 March 2014)


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)


UAE Supports Demining Operations in Kandahar, Afghanistan

(October, Afghanistan) Kandahar Province, one of the most rugged, rural areas



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