Since 1989, nearly 44,000 Afghan civilians have been recorded to have been killed or injured by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) averaging to around 110 people per month. Improvised mines (IM) and ERW from armed clashes caused nearly 99 percent of the casualties recorded in 2021. UNICEF’s report on the impact of explosive ordnance for 2022 documented around 700 children maimed or killed–approximately 2 children per day.
Humanitarian mine action partners in Afghanistan have cleared more than 19 million items of ERW, some 756,808 anti-personnel (AP) mines, some 33,463 anti-vehicle (AV) mines, and some 7,008 abandoned improvised mines (AIM) since 1989. A total of 34,037 hazardous areas have been cleared or otherwise canceled. This represents over 3,663 square kilometers of land released for productive use to 3,500 communities.
Some 5,392 identified hazards remain, representing nearly 1,283 km² of land, threatening about 1,537 communities, impeding safe movement of civilians and humanitarians, reducing safe access to socio-economic opportunities and hindering development. Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) has reached over 22.4 million beneficiaries since the start of the program.
The Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan (MAPA) was established in 1989. In 2012, the Afghan Directorate for Mine Action Coordination (DMAC) began to execute aspects of the programme management of the MAPA in direct collaboration with UNMAS and obtained ownership on 1 June 2018 after progressive transition when DMAC absorbed all Afghan technical mine action personnel previously employed by UNMAS. At the request of the former Afghan Government, UNMAS stayed to provide continued technical support in areas such as strategic planning and advocacy, resource mobilization, and funds management and contracting, until 14 August 2021.
The UN Security Council Resolution 2626 (2022) adopted on 17 March 2022 mandates the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), in the para 5 (j), to “support, within its mandate, existing mechanisms to improve the overall security situation in Afghanistan, provide assessments of the explosive ordnance threat and its impact on civilians, including children, advise and coordinate explosive ordnance threat mitigation measures in support of humanitarian and development initiatives, support the coordination of the humanitarian mine action sector…”. This part of the UNAMA mandate is expected to be implemented by UNMAS Afghanistan, and integration of UNMAS Afghanistan into UNAMA has been initiated.
In line with the changed operational context and mine action role in UNAMA, UNMAS Afghanistan renewed its Programme Strategy for the implementation of the Mission mandate and is in alignment with the UNAMA strategy.
Contribution to the creation of peace and stability in Afghanistan
UNMAS provides explosive ordnance threat assessment to UNAMA including developing and sharing information management products; advises and coordinates mitigating measures - such as survey and clearance, explosive ordnance disposal, and risk education that are bilaterally funded by donors to humanitarian mine action organizations - against explosive ordnance threat, as a Mission component.
Contribution to economic and social conditions for stability
UNMAS supports the coordination of the humanitarian mine action sector. In 2022, the UNMAS-led humanitarian mine action coordination center successfully carried out essential coordination functions including planning and prioritization, quality management, and information management, which backstopped impactful humanitarian mine action operations in the country, ensured humanitarian prioritization of mine action, and facilitated overall humanitarian response.
Concurrently, UNMAS continued advocacy efforts for the importance of continuous support to mine action activities in particular through bilaterally funding, ensuring that mine action needs are well represented under multiple UN documents and engagement platforms. UNMAS as the lead of the Mine Action Sub-Cluster (MASC) in the country under the Mine Action Area of Responsibility (MA AoR) of the Global Protection Cluster, collaborated closely with other UN agencies and humanitarian organizations in the areas of planning, prioritization, information sharing, and operations, to support humanitarian delivery and access to essential services with a greater synergy.
In November 2022, UNMAS began receiving funding support from UNAMA as a Mission component, in addition to receiving voluntary contributions from institutional donors. UNMAS thanks the following donors for their generous support in 2023: Australia, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the United States of America, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
UNMAS also thanks the following donors for continued bilateral support to the MAPA: Afghanistan, The United States of America, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), Japan, Finland, Denmark, OCHA, CERF, and UNDP.
Data as of October 2023