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  • Finding, marking, removing unexploded ordnance making safe ground in Ethiopia. Photo UNMAS

Japan Helping the People of Ethiopia

UNMAS welcomes Government of Japan's contribution to Humanitarian Mine Action in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, 16 February 2024 – The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) today welcomed a donation of $1.19 million from the People of Japan for life-saving humanitarian mine action activities in Ethiopia. The support will go towards humanitarian mine action to promote peace and safety in Northern Ethiopia. This project aims to mitigate the threat posed by landmines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW), which endanger the lives of people and communities in the Tigray and Afar regions.

The funds will be used to support technical assessment teams deployed by UNMAS. These teams will survey and tag dangerous areas and gather accurate information regarding the presence of explosive ordnance. Teams will further provide Explosive Hazard Awareness Training to humanitarian personnel, informing them on how to recognize and mitigate the impact of explosive threats on their operations. UNMAS will share contamination reports and maps to ensure that humanitarian aid delivery is not interrupted. The project will enable the safe mobility of at-risk populations and humanitarian workers operating in the northern provinces and facilitate the safe delivery of humanitarian aid.

“We are very grateful for the continued support of the Government of Japan to build a peaceful and safe Ethiopia and to protect its population from the dangers of explosives hazards,” said UNMAS Chief of Mine Action in Ethiopia, Ms. Francesca Chiaudani. “UNMAS is engaged in improving the security for the people of Ethiopia and coordinating humanitarian mine action interventions in the country.”

Explosive contamination not only impacts the safety of communities but also hampers economic development as it restricts access to land and resources and prevents socio-economic activities. “Humanitarian Mine Action is critical to the safety of the civilian population and is an essential enabler of humanitarian assistance and stabilization,” she concluded.

The Embassy of Japan in Ethiopia stated: “The Government of Japan has funded UNMAS to promote peace and safety in Northern Ethiopia through mine action. The project will provide explosive hazard awareness training for 1,300 humanitarian workers and will assess the scale and scope of explosive ordnance contamination in conflict-affected areas.”

Ethiopia has a legacy of landmines and explosive ordnance, which was further aggravated by the 2020-2022 conflict affecting the Northern regions. Explosive ordnance is widely spread across residential areas and many sites hosting internally displaced persons, in communal locations and amongst the rubble. This poses an immediate risk to lives, it hampers the delivery of humanitarian aid, and restricts access to basic services.

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Francesca Chiaudani, Chief, Mine Action Programme, UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) Ethiopia, francesca.chiaudani@un.org
Mr. Takuto Kubo, Chief Programme Planning and Management Section, UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) HQ New York,
Dejene Sakoume, Communication Officer, Embassy of Japan to Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, dejene.sakoume@ad.mofa.go.jp, +251-11-667-1166 (mobile: +251-91-175-3486)