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In 2023 (January-September 2023):

  • Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) teams funded by UNMAS reached 5,571 beneficiaries in Afar and Tigray.

  • Explosive Hazard Awareness Training was provided to personnel from 20 humanitarian organizations, reaching 519 staff (344 males, 175 females), and contributing to the increased safety and security for aid workers.

  • UNMAS, through its national implementing partner, conducted a Training of Trainers (TOT) for a total of 77 Community Focal Points (66 male and 11 female) in Afar and Tigray. Those trained returned to their communities and continued to deliver lifesaving explosive ordnance risk education sessions to their partners.
  • UNMAS technical personnel, deployed in Tigray in July 2023, assessed 31 areas reported by humanitarian partners with potential Explosive Ordnance (EO) contamination and marked 129 EO items.




Ethiopia has experienced a series of internal and international armed conflicts throughout its history, leaving a legacy of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) scattered throughout the country. According to the latest transparency report that Ethiopia submitted under the Mine Ban Convention, the remaining unaddressed contamination totals 726 square kilometers[1].


The outbreak of conflict in November 2020 between the central government and the regional authorities of the Tigray region, which has spilled over into the neighboring Afar and Amhara regions in 2021, has added new explosive ordnance contamination that poses an immediate threat to life and livelihoods.


1187 (625 Tigray, 300 Afar, and 262 Amhara) casualties have been reported in Northern Ethiopia since the beginning of the conflict, although not all cases have been verified - but it is also believed that many other accidents go unreported. Initial analysis shows that children make an alarming majority of casualties (57%).


Mandated to support the humanitarian response in Northern Ethiopia, UNMAS facilitated the activation of the Mine Action Area of Responsibility (MA-AoR) in August 2021 and, in April 2022, started the delivery of explosive ordnance risk education to local populations in regions affected by the conflict. In addition, in support of the safe and secure humanitarian aid delivery, UNMAS is conducting Explosive Ordnance Threat Assessment in the Afar, Amhara and Tigray regions. In the absence of an established mine action sector in Ethiopia, UNMAS is the mandated entity to support the Ethiopian government with capacity development intervention for addressing the explosive ordnance contamination issue.


[1] 98% of suspected hazardous areas and 2% of confirmed hazardous areas, hence a vast extent of land could be released through non-technical survey.




Explosive Ordnance Threat Assessment

UNMAS personnel have deployed to Tigray, Afar, and Amhara regions to conduct explosive risk assessments on humanitarian partners’ areas of intervention. Upon the request of the Shelter and Camp Management and Coordination Clusters, UNMAS facilitated the assessment and release of a 500,000 m2 area as free of explosive threat, allowing for the construction of shelters for over 21,500 IDPS. The rapid assessments by UNMAS have also enabled the resumption of humanitarian aid operations, such as food distribution, from NGO partners. Since their deployment in July 2023, the UNMAS technical team in Tigray assessed 31 areas reported by humanitarian partners with potential Explosive Ordnance (EO) contamination and marked 129 EO items.


UNMAS aims to deploy team to priority areas identified through the threat assessment to conduct a more comprehensive study on the nature and location of explosive ordnance through a non-technical survey, to further enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid, the safe return of IDPs and refugees to their community of origin and prioritization of future clearance efforts.

Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE)

UNMAS is providing EORE to humanitarian personnel to support the safe delivery of humanitarian aid. Through local implementing partners, UNMAS also provides gender, age, and diversity-tailored EORE to at-risk populations, with a comprehensive approach targeting both local communities, as well as internally displaced people and returnees, in Northern Ethiopia, including through training of community focal points.

Humanitarian Coordination

UNMAS leads the Mine Action Area of Responsibility of the humanitarian architecture, ensuring mine action partners coordinate needs assessments and operations, share analyses, establish links with other key sectors such as Child Protection, and jointly advocate for increased access to resources.

Technical Assistance & Capacity Development

UNMAS seeks to provide technical assistance to the Ethiopia Mine Action Office (EMAO) to develop its quality management, accreditation, and data management capability - including collecting and analyzing data, taking into account age, gender, and diversity - as well as its operational capacity for explosive hazards survey.



UNMAS is grateful to all of the donors to the Ethiopia programme. UNMAS received generous contributions from the Governments of Canada and Japan, as well as from UN-OCHA, through the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund, which supported the programme’s activities in its mobilization phase in 2022.


UNMAS Ethiopia currently seeks USD 6 million to scale up its humanitarian mine action intervention in Northern Ethiopia and provide the necessary technical assistance and capacity development intervention for the Ethiopia Mine Action Office to manage and regulate the mine action sector in Ethiopia.


Data as of September 2023