Beirut, 1 April 2018 – with the support from the Government of Japan (USD 1.3 million), the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) Syria Response launched the project “Protecting Civilians in Syria through Humanitarian Mine Action Coordination” to reinforce the protection of civilians in Syria through humanitarian mine action activities.
Now in its eighth year, the crisis in Syria has been compounded by the extensive and indiscriminate use of explosive weaponry in populated areas throughout the country. The 2018 Humanitarian Needs Overview states that 8.2 million people now live in affected by explosive incidents, with more than 3 million children exposed to the risk of explosive hazards.
Over the past three years, Japan’s contribution to mine action activities in Syria amounted to USD 3.2 million. Through this contribution, the UNMAS Syria Response was able to deliver lifesaving explosive hazard risk education to more than 65,000 Syrian women, men, girls and boys, warning them of the dangers of explosive hazards and providing them with information they need to protect themselves from this threat. A threat that, for many, is now a part of daily life. UNMAS Syria Response conducted more than 200 contamination impact surveys, a critical step in defining the scope of the explosive hazard threat, refining risk education messaging, prioritising future humanitarian mine action operations and informing local humanitarian partners of the explosive threats in the area. Also, more than 900 survivors of explosive hazard accidents have received physical and psychological support to alleviate their pain and grief due to the result of accidents.
The new contribution from the people of Japan will enable the UNMAS Syria Response to deliver risk education to 34,000 people in affected communities to increase their awareness of the threats of explosive hazards, conduct contamination impact surveys in 100 communities to mark and fence off explosive hazards to reduce the risk of incidents to civilians and humanitarians in these areas, and provide necessary assistance to 560 survivors of explosive incidents.
The continuous contribution from Japan is critical for UNMAS Syria Response to alleviate the humanitarian situation people in Syria have been facing in the country through reducing the explosive hazard threats in Syria. Japan and UNMAS Syria Response will keep strong and faithful commitment to support Syrian people through mine action activities in the country.
For further information, please contact:
Ms. Yumiko Yoshioka, UNMAS Programme Officer, Beirut, Lebanon, yumikoy[at]unops.org
Mr. Kurt Chesko, UNMAS Donor Relations Officer, New York, USA chesko[at]un.org