Mogadishu, 14 April 2023 – The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) today welcomed the donation of $1 million from the Government of Japan for life-saving demining projects in Somalia.
The support will go towards UNMAS’s ‘Humanitarian mine action to promote peace and safety in Somalia’ project, which aims to mitigate the threat posed by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) to vulnerable populations around the country.
Specifically, the funds will contribute to delivering explosive ordnance risk education (EORE) and Non-Technical Survey (NTS) activities in Somalia.
“We are very grateful for the continued support of the Government of Japan to build a peaceful and safe Somalia and to protect its population from the dangers of explosives hazards,” said UNMAS’ Chief of Mine Action in Somalia, Justin Smith. “UNMAS is engaged in improving the security for the people of Somalia and coordinating humanitarian mine action interventions in the country.”
Impact on Somalis
Landmines and ERW continue to endanger the lives of the Somali people, causing severe accidents and injuries. Humanitarian mine action partners have recorded 1,179 civilian casualties due to landmines and ERW incidents since 2004.
The explosive contamination not only impacts the safety of communities but also hampers economic development as they restrict access to land and resources and prevent socio-economic activities. Humanitarian mine action is, therefore, critical for the safety of the civilian population and is an essential enabler of humanitarian assistance and stabilization.
Focus on Galmudug
UNMAS will conduct key project activities in accessible districts in the Federal Member State of Galmudug, which is a priority area for mine action due to the high level of recorded explosive ordnance contamination and accidents compared with other parts of Somalia.
Verifying the extent of the contamination will allow an effective response to the prevalence of these threats. NTS will define the full breadth of explosive ordnance contamination in Galmudug while raising the awareness of communities about the risks of such contamination and how to deal with them by conducting EORE sessions.
The Government of Somalia, which has been a State Party to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) since 2012, was granted a five-year extension of applicable mine clearance obligations to 2027.
The extension should provide ample time to renew Somalia’s commitment to finish clearance of all known contaminated areas on time.
The ‘Humanitarian mine action to promote peace and safety in Somalia’ project is also expected to help in this respect by supporting the Federal Government of Somalia with building institutional and operational capacity to coordinate and oversee the implementation of humanitarian mine action activities in the country and comply with all applicable international treaty obligations.
For further information, please contact:
- Mr. Justin Smith, UNMAS Somalia, Chief of Mine Action Programme, Mogadishu, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ms. Hafssa Soufiane, UNMAS Somalia, Public Information Officer, Mogadishu, email@example.com
Embassy of Japan
- Mr. Kobun Sakurada, Embassy of Japan to Kenya, Nairobi, firstname.lastname@example.org