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Sub-Sections:
Afghanistan

Afghanistan

2008 Key Data

State Party since

1 March 2003

Contamination

Antipersonnel and antivehicle mines, IEDs, submunitions, other UXO, AXO

Estimated area of contamination

668km2 (31 July 2009)

Casualties in 2008

992 (2007: 811)

Estimated mine/ERW survivors

Unknown but estimated 52,000–60,000

Article 5 (clearance of mined areas)

Deadline: 1 March 2013

Demining in 2008

Mined area clearance: 51.5km2

Battle area clearance: 121.1km2

Total clearance: 172.6km2

Other land release: 85.1km2

Risk education recipients in 2008

1.4 million

Progress towards victim assistance aims

Moderate

Support for mine action in 2008

Ten-Year Summary

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan became a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty on 1 March 2003. It has not adopted national implementation legislation. Afghanistan completed destruction of its known stockpiles of more than 486,000 antipersonnel mines in October 2007, eight months after its treaty deadline. It has discovered or recovered and destroyed tens of thousands of additional mines since then. Taliban forces have used antipersonnel mines sporadically since 2001.

Afghanistan’s demining program is the world’s largest and oldest, but in 2006–2007 it underwent extensive operational reform, restructuring, and refocusing to increase the efficiency and competitiveness of the UN’s implementing partners as well as to reflect the threat to mine clearance from growing insurgency. In 2008, demining organizations released more than 250km2, a record for the program.

The Mine Action Center for Afghanistan[1] recorded at least 12,069 casualties from mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) between 1999 and 2008, including 1,612 killed and 10,457 injured. Casualties are likely under-reported due to the difficult terrain, ongoing insecurity which impedes access for data collectors, and because fatal casualties were often not reported from 1999–2002. The overwhelming majority of recorded casualties were civilians. The casualty toll in 2008 was less than half the level in 2001, but rose for the first time since that year. It is estimated there are up to 60,000 survivors.

Extensive mine/ERW risk education (RE) conducted over the last 10 years by approximately 15 organizations reached up to 3.5 million people a year. RE has focused on communities, internally displaced persons, and returning refugees. From 2002–2006, UNICEF supported RE technically and financially. In 2003, RE began to focus more on community-based activities and behavioral change strategies. School-based RE programs have also been developed. However, two evaluations in 2008 found that RE programs needed more understanding of the problem and to work more through established institutions.

Despite increased national ownership and interest in victim assistance (VA) and disability issues, increased survivor inclusion and better policy frameworks, there was little real improvement in the situation of survivors. This is in part due to the very low development level in Afghanistan and continued conflict, but also because of a lack of capacity and prioritization. Afghanistan has developed a VA plan as part of its 2005–2009 commitment to the Nairobi Action Plan, but implementation is facing significant challenges.

Mine Ban Policy

Afghanistan acceded to the Mine Ban Treaty on 11 September 2002, becoming a State Party on 1 March 2003. It has not adopted national implementation legislation.[2] Afghanistan submitted its seventh Article 7 transparency report covering calendar year 2008.[3]

Afghanistan participated in the Ninth Meeting of States Parties in Geneva in November 2008, making statements on VA and mine clearance. Afghanistan also attended the May 2009 intersessional Standing Committee meetings, making statements on VA, RE, and mine clearance. Afghanistan has not made known its views on matters of interpretation and implementation related to Articles 1, 2, and 3 (joint military operations with states not party, foreign stockpiling and transit of antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes or antihandling devices, and mines retained for training).

Afghanistan signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions in December 2008, but had not yet ratified it as of 1 July 2009.[4]

Afghanistan signed the Convention on Conventional Weapons in April 1981, but has never ratified it, and thus is not party to the convention or its protocols on mines and ERW.

Production, transfer, use, stockpiling, and destruction

Afghanistan is not known to have ever produced or exported antipersonnel mines. Throughout many years of armed conflict large numbers of mines from numerous sources were sent to various fighting forces in Afghanistan. There have been no confirmed reports of outside supply of antipersonnel mines to non-state armed groups (NSAGs) in recent years.

Afghanistan reported that it completed its stockpile destruction obligation in October 2007.[5] This was eight months after its treaty-mandated deadline of 1 March 2007.[6] It is unclear how many stockpiled mines Afghanistan had destroyed at the time it declared completion of the program. It reported that as of April 2007, it had destroyed 486,226 stockpiled antipersonnel mines,[7] and later reported that in calendar year 2007, it destroyed 81,595 antipersonnel mines.[8] How many of those were found and destroyed after the October 2007 declaration of completion is not known.

In its latest Article 7 report, Afghanistan indicated that an additional 62,498 stockpiled antipersonnel mines were discovered and destroyed during calendar year 2008. The bulk—58,588—were PFM-1 mines destroyed in Balkh, Kapisa, and Parwan provinces.[9] The mines were destroyed at 160 events in 20 provinces, all by open detonation.[10] The type and number of mines destroyed in each location, and the dates of destruction, have been recorded in detail in Afghanistan’s Article 7 report.[11]

Mines retained for training and development

Afghanistan reported that during 2008 the maximum number of antipersonnel mines retained for training purposes was 2,618.[12] This total is 62 mines fewer than the number retained at the end of 2007. Afghanistan has previously informed Landmine Monitor that it retains a fluctuating number of mines (depending on the needs of its training programs), and that the number is approved by the Ministry of Defense. The mines it retains come from discoveries and seizures that continue to occur within the country.[13]

In June 2008, the Program Director of the Mine Action Coordination Center of Afghanistan (MACCA) told Landmine Monitor that all of the mines Afghanistan listed as retained are fuzeless, and that the fuzes are destroyed separately prior to use in training.[14]

In its latest Article 7 report, in expanded Form D on retained mines, Afghanistan stated, “MACCA uses retained antipersonnel mines in its test centers in Kabul, Logar, Herat, Kunduz, Jalalabad and Kandahar to accredit the mine detection dogs of implementing partners…The implementing partners, under the oversight of MACCA, use antipersonnel mines for training of their mine detection dogs and deminers.” It also noted that MACCA, “stores mines that may be needed for testing and accreditation in the future in a secured bunker.”[15] Afghanistan did not report how many mines were transferred to the training program, their origin, or the number that were consumed during training.

Use

According to the UN, 2008 was the most violent year in Afghanistan since 2001. International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) force levels increased, insurgent attacks increased, and violence rose sharply in the south, southeast, and southwest of the country. The insurgency attacked in previously stable areas, including high-profile coordinated attacks against multiple government ministries in Kabul in February 2009.[16]

Yet neither Afghan nor coalition forces are reported to have used antipersonnel mines. United States forces have reportedly deployed and used Claymore directional fragmentation mines in command-detonated mode, which is not prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty.[17]

Non-state armed groups

While the level of insurgent activity increased sharply, the vast majority of reports of explosive attacks did not involve victim-activated antipersonnel mines, even though media reports frequently attributed attacks to “landmines.” Instead, attacks were mostly carried out with remotely-detonated improvised explosive devices (IEDs), often targeting vehicles.[18] On its website, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) claimed responsibility for an extensive number of attacks against military personnel and vehicles using command-detonated IEDs.[19] The Hizb-e-Islami militia of Gulbudin Hekmatyar has also claimed responsibility for IED attacks on ISAF troops.[20]

In June 2008, there were several reports of new use of antipersonnel mines by the Taliban in Arghandab district of Kandahar province.[21] A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense was quoted as saying, “The Taliban had laid landmines—anti-vehicle and anti-personnel—on roads and footpaths in Arghandab District.”[22] The ICBL expressed concern at the reports of ongoing Taliban use of antipersonnel mines.[23] In January 2009, a US Army captain asserted that the insurgency was using antipersonnel and antivehicle mines, as well as IEDs with pressure plates to trigger explosives, but did not provide specific incidents.[24]

There were some media reports of ISAF forces recovering antipersonnel mines. In August 2008, three persons were arrested with 30 antipersonnel mines and one antivehicle mine in Pul-i-Khumri in Baghlan province.[25] In October 2008, coalition forces recovered several antipersonnel mines among other weapons in Kandahar province.[26] In December 2008, ISAF forces recovered one antipersonnel mine and some antivehicle mines in Ghorak district, Kandahar.[27] In January 2009, coalition forces recovered antipersonnel mines and pressure plates for mines among other weapons in Kandahar province.[28] Other media reports also mention seizures of landmines, but do not identify the type.[29]

The government’s Disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups (DIAG) program collects mines. In November 2008, a local security department discovered 10 antipersonnel mines among other weapons in the Koran area, Gusfandi district of Sari Pul province and turned them over to DIAG. The mines were left over from the Soviet occupation, and commanders were planning to sell them instead of handing them over to DIAG.[30] Antipersonnel mines collected under the DIAG program are turned over to the government’s Anti-Personnel Mine & Ammunition Stockpile Destruction program run by UNDP.

Scope of the Problem

Contamination

Afghanistan remains one of the states with the highest level of contamination from landmines and ERW, mainly the result of the 1992–1996 internal armed conflict, the decade-long war of resistance that followed the Soviet invasion of 1979, and the US-led coalition’s intervention in late 2001, which added considerable quantities of UXO.[31]

Increased insurgency in the past two years has resulted in additional ERW contamination and more use by NSAGs of antipersonnel and antivehicle mines and victim-activated IEDs.[32] Security forces, the government, and the UN have continued to uncover large caches of weapons and munitions, including landmines; more than 2,900 tons (2.9 million kg) of munitions were discovered in northern Afghanistan by the joint Afghan-UNDP Afghanistan New Beginnings Project.[33]

Estimates of contamination have fluctuated in the last two years as MACCA conducted an audit of data. The Afghanistan Landmine Impact Survey (ALIS), completed in 2005, had found 2,368 communities and more than four million people affected by mines, and identified some 715km2 of suspected hazardous areas (SHAs).[34] Consolidation of different data sets and discovery of new minefields not identified in the ALIS saw the estimate of contamination rise to 852km2 as of 31 December 2007. After further clearance and data consolidation, MACCA estimated the number of hazards as of the end of July 2009 at 6,502, covering 668km2, and thought this figure could rise with the results of further survey.[35]

Soviet forces used air-dropped and rocket-delivered submunitions in the 1979–1989 conflict, and US aircraft dropped 1,228 cluster munitions containing some 248,056 submunitions between October 2001 and early 2002.[36] However, clearance operations followed in 2002–2003 guided by US cluster strike data, and the ALIS found that 89% of affected communities reported only antipersonnel and/or antivehicle mines.[37] Demining operators say they now encounter few cluster munition remnants.[38]

Casualties[39]

In 2008, Landmine Monitor identified at least 992 new casualties in 553 incidents due to mines, ERW, and victim-activated IEDs in Afghanistan, including 266 people killed and 726 injured. Of these, MACCA recorded 831 casualties in 515 incidents (187 killed and 644 injured). MACCA data did not include information on foreign nationals or on people injured by victim-activated IEDs, as this is a security issue outside the scope of its operations.[40] Landmine Monitor media analysis identified 161 additional casualties from 38 incidents (79 killed and 82 injured), including foreign soldiers from the United Kingdom, US,[41] Romania, Poland, Latvia, Denmark, and Canada (including four military deminers).

The 2008 casualty rate is the first marked increase since 2005 and is due to intensified conflict. This can be seen from the increasing number of civilian casualties in conflict areas such as Kandahar, Helmand, and Ghazni and from the increasing number of military casualties among foreign troops as well as Afghan forces.[42] In 2007, Landmine Monitor identified 842 casualties: 781 through MACCA and 61 through other sources.[43] The average monthly casualty rate of 83 in 2008 is still significantly lower than 172 per month in 2001 or 94 in 2005. Due to ongoing conflict and inaccessibility of the conflict areas, casualties were likely to be under-reported, especially in southern Afghanistan.[44]

Analysis of MACCA casualty data for 2008 shows that most mine/ERW casualties were civilian (704, including three government officials), 51 were deminers, 35 were from the Afghan National Security Forces, and 41 were unknown or “other.” Children constituted 56% of civilian casualties (393); a significant increase from 48% in 2007. Nearly half of the civilian casualties were boys (342, up from 41% in 2007). This can be explained by an increase in ERW incidents among children, particularly boys (up to 33% from 20% in 2007). The number of child casualties deliberately handling the device did not increase. The second largest group was men (280), followed by girls (51), and women (25); the age of six males was unknown.

MACCA reported antipersonnel mines caused 153 casualties, antivehicle mines 125, ERW 474, and unknown devices 25.[45] Due to changes in the data collection mechanism MACCA was unable to provide a more detailed breakdown of types of ERW causing casualties in 2008.[46]

The most common activity at the time of the incident was traveling (139), followed by tending animals (132), playing/recreation (130), unknown (104), and collecting wood/food/water (91). While traveling casualties remained relatively stable compared to 2007 (down to 17% from 20%), more casualties were recorded while carrying out livelihood activities (up to 34% from 27%), possibly due to harsher living circumstances caused by conflict. Only 38 casualties were caused by tampering (40 in 2007). No casualties were reported in three provinces (Daykondi, Farah, and Samangan). Three provinces without casualties in 2007 recorded casualties in 2008 (Nimruz, Nuristan, and Panjsheer). Most incidents occurred in the conflict-ridden provinces in the south (227), mostly in Kandahar (130), Helmand (75), and Ghazni (91) in the restive southeastern part of Afghanistan, followed by Kabul (60) and Baghlan (51). Only 21 casualties (3%, similar to 2007) reported receiving mine/ERW RE and 364 stated they had not received RE; for the remaining casualties (446) this information was not known. Some 60% of incidents occurred in areas that were not marked.

ISAF maintained records on IED casualties and noted that the number of victim-activated IED incidents increased sharply compared to 2007. From 1 January to 22 May 2008, ISAF recorded 10 ISAF soldiers and 10 Afghan civilians killed, and 75 ISAF soldiers and 20 civilians injured by victim-activated IEDs.[47] These casualties could not be included in the 2008 casualty total as insufficient information was available for cross-checking.

Casualties continued to be reported in 2009 with at least 177 casualties in 84 incidents as of 31 May (45 killed and 132 injured). MACCA recorded 150 casualties in 78 incidents (29 killed and 121 injured), including 141 civilians, six deminers, and three of unknown status. More than 60% of casualties were children (93), including 83 boys. ERW caused 99 casualties, antipersonnel mines 29, and antivehicle mines 22. Most casualties occurred in Kandahar and Nangarhar (18 each), Kabul (17), and Helmand (14) provinces. Landmine Monitor identified 27 additional casualties in six incidents (16 killed and 11 injured) including 18 Afghan civilians.

Between 1999 and the end of 2008, MACA recorded 12,069 mine/ERW casualties, including 1,612 killed and 10,457 injured. Most casualties occurred in 2001 (2,062), due to conflict and population movements.[48] Fatal casualties appear to be underreported, particularly between 1999 and 2002. At least 5,607 casualties were civilians, 441 deminers and 504 military; the status of 4,793 was unknown and 724 had ‘other’ as status. Most casualties were men (5,555), followed by boys (4,994), girls (642), and women (350).

Of the total, 3,282 casualties were due to antipersonnel mines, 831 due to antivehicle mines, 4,646 due to ERW,[49] and 3,310 due to unknown devices. Only in 1999 did antipersonnel mines cause more casualties than ERW. The percentage of casualties due to unknown devices decreased every year from 32% in 1999 to 13% in 2008. Most antivehicle mine casualties happened in 2007 (155 or 20% of casualties) due to alleged increased use.

MACCA recorded 19,706 casualties between 1979 and 26 May 2009.[50] According to estimates drawn from the 2005 Afghanistan National Disability Survey, Afghanistan has some 52,000 to 60,000 mine/ERW survivors. [51]

Risk profile

People are at risk from both mines and ERW, particularly in Helmand and Kandahar provinces, and new contamination in 2008 increased the risk. Risk activities include traveling, recreation, tending animals, and collecting wood/water/food. Children make up almost half of all casualties.

Socio-economic impact

Although some three-quarters of impacted communities are located in 12 of the country’s 34 provinces, mines and ERW still pose a formidable challenge to the country’s social and economic reconstruction, which is critical for political stabilization. Mine and ERW contamination is particularly concentrated in central and key food-producing eastern provinces, affecting towns and urban commercial areas as well as villages, farm and grazing land, and roads.[52] The ALIS found that the main economic blockages caused by mine/ERW contamination were on pastureland, cropland, and roads.[53] However, the extent of contamination makes battle area clearance and/or demining a prerequisite for most infrastructure and major construction projects.

Program Management and Coordination

Mine action

The Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan (MAPA), set up by the UN in 1989, has been coordinated by what started as the UN Mine Action Center for Afghanistan (UNMACA), in 2007 became the Mine Action Center for Afghanistan (MACA), and since January 2009 has been called the Mine Action Coordination Center of Afghanistan (MACCA).

Until 2008, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided the government focal point on mine action.[54] A symposium on mine action organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and MACA on 10 December 2007 decided that an interministerial board should be set up to provide guidance to MACA and that existing institutions should continue to provide support to the government on mine action until 2013,[55] when responsibility for mine action is to be handed over to national ownership.[56] The Interministerial Board (IMB) had reportedly met three times as of May 2009 and appointed the Department of Mine Clearance (DMC) to act as its secretariat.[57]

An interministerial meeting convened by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 16 January 2008 assigned the lead role in mine action to the DMC, a department set up in the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority in 1989, which reports to the Office of the President.[58] In May 2008, the DMC set up its offices in MACA’s Kabul headquarters but has continued to be funded through the national budget.[59]

Until 2009, MACA was responsible for managing, planning, and coordinating all aspects of mine action undertaken by MAPA.[60] It updated strategic and operational mine action plans and policies, drew up an annual operational workplan, and coordinated the monitoring of RE. It also accredited and quality assured mine action operators, and was responsible for maintaining the mine action database, resource mobilization, support to and coordination of implementing partners, and oversight of national mine action standards.[61] In 2008, MACA established a body to manage contracts with implementing partners on behalf of the UN Mine Action Service Voluntary Trust Fund.[62] The DMC has increasingly become the interface between MACCA and other government departments.

In the Afghan year 1388 (1 April 2009–30 March 2010), MACCA and the DMC have joint responsibility for coordinating all mine action activities. The DMC, with 15 staff, was due to take over responsibility for accrediting mine action organizations, coordinating external quality assurance, acting as lead coordinator for RE with the Ministry of Education, and preparation of Afghanistan’s Article 7 reports, working with existing staff at MACCA.[63] The MAPA 1388 workplan also provided for the possibility of setting up a contracting entity within the DMC, the development of transition plans for mine action and the Interministerial Board, and the preparation of a capacity development plan for the DMC.[64]

However, a European Union (UN) evaluation, which issued its report in April 2009 (see Program evaluations section below) noted a “lack of clarity” about MACCA’s role as the agency coordinating the MAPA. It also found “several reasons to be concerned with this process and to question the capacity and commitment of the DMC to assume the current role of the MACCA.” It noted that the relationship between the MACCA and DMC had not been clarified in a Memorandum of Understanding, or formally detailed in any other way.[65]

MACCA has seven Area Mine Action Centers (AMACs) in Gardez (Southeast), Herat (West), Jalalabad (East), Kabul (Central), Kandahar (South), Kunduz (Northeast), and Mazar-e-Sharif (North). Staffed entirely by Afghans, the AMACs coordinate, oversee, and monitor demining activities at the regional and provincial levels. The regional offices also work directly with communities, UN offices, government representatives, and development organizations to ensure that operations are coordinated and meet local needs.[66] Regional coordination meetings are held once a month and national coordination meetings are held every one or two months.[67]

Risk education

MACCA is the coordinating body for mine/ERW RE, and coordinates at a regional level through the seven AMACs.[68] They provide implementing agencies with data, with which they then develop their own plans based on MACCA’s priorities. MACCA also monitors the activities[69] and holds quarterly technical working group meetings, attended by all RE implementing organizations.[70] Monthly coordination meetings are also held at the AMACs. [71] MACCA’s international staff provides technical support to their national counterparts at MACCA and the AMACs.[72] Handicap International (HI) reported that coordination between ministries and MACCA has increased, and that the capacity of government staff has grown.[73] RE is also part of the technical working group for mine action, which includes implementing partners and MACCA personnel.[74]

Victim Assistance

The Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MoLSAMD), through its Department of Disabled Affairs and dedicated deputy minister, is responsible for coordination, monitoring, and reporting on disability/VA activities within all relevant ministries and stakeholders.[75] In October 2008, the first inter-ministerial meeting on disability issues, led by MoLSAMD, was held to improve government coordination.[76] The group meets quarterly and its main mandate is raising awareness and advocating for inclusion of survivors/persons with disabilities in government programs.[77] The public health and education ministries are also involved.[78]

Coordination with the disability/VA sector is carried out through various coordinating bodies at the relevant ministries.[79] The most important is the Disability Stakeholder Coordination Group under MoLSAMD. International and national organizations participate regularly in these meetings.[80] The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) strengthened its coordination mechanisms in 2008 by upgrading the Disability Unit to a department and the informal community-based rehabilitation network to a formal mechanism under the ministry.[81] MACCA provides technical and financial support to the concerned ministries.[82]

Overall, coordination was considered to function relatively well,[83] but the MoPH noted some challenges due to low awareness, frequent changes in the disability structure and weak coordination on how services are distributed geographically.[84] Representatives from disabled people’s organizations (DPO) and survivor organizations noted that coordination with the ministries remained challenging.[85]

Data collection and management

MACCA manages a database that has used the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) Version 3. In June 2009, MACCA started a two-month pilot program importing all existing data into IMSMA Version 5 to test the system, while at the same time continuing to maintain its existing database.[86]

Until March 2009, MACCA used a decentralized data entry system in which staff at the AMACs entered clearance data and completion reports provided by operators into the database, and MACCA was responsible for quality control, updating of information, and sending updates to the AMACs. From April 2009, the AMACs continued collecting and verifying clearance data but data entry was undertaken by MACCA staff in Kabul.[87] RE activity reports are also provided to MACCA and entered into IMSMA.[88]

Casualty data collection in Afghanistan remains incomplete due to the security situation, communication constraints, unequal coverage, and the time needed to centralize information. Data collectors estimate under-reporting of 10–15%.[89] MACCA is responsible for maintaining and verifying the IMSMA casualty database. Casualty data is collected mainly by the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS). At the end of 2006, the ICRC handed its casualty database over to UNMACA and handed responsibility for maintaining the data collection network over to the ARCS. The ICRC continued to monitor data collection throughout 2007. In Kandahar, HI is an important source of casualty data. An EU evaluation of the mine action program noted that ARCS data collection deteriorated in 2008 because of the ICRC withdrawal.[90]

Mine action program operators

National operators and activities

Demining

RE

Casualty data collection

VA

Afghan Technical Consultants

x

     

Demining Agency for Afghanistan

x

     

Hemayatbrothers Demining International

x

     

Kardan Demining Group

x

     

Mine Clearance Planning Agency

x

     

Mine Detection and Dog Center

x

     

Organization for Mine Clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation

x

x

   

Afghanistan Landmine Survivors’ Organization

     

x

Community Center for the Disabled

     

x

ARCS

 

x

x

x

Development and Ability Organization

       

Kabul Orthopedic Organization

     

x

Ministry of Education

 

x

   

International operators

Demining

RE

Casualty data collection

VA

AAR Japan

 

x

   

ArmorGroup

x

     

DynCorp

x

     

Danish Demining Group

x

x

   

EOD Technology

x

     

HALO Trust

x

x

   

Mobile Mini Children’s Circus (MMCC)

 

x

   

MineTech International

x

     

ISAF

 

x

   

RONCO Consulting Corp

x

     

TDI (The Development Initiative)

x

     

UXB

x

     

ICRC

   

x

x

Swedish Committee for Afghanistan

     

x

Handicap International

 

x

x

x

Emergency

     

x

The MACCA database contains standardized and detailed information on personal details, device type, activity, incident location, RE provision, and marked areas. Unlike the ICRC database, no detail on sustained injuries is recorded, nor does the database contain information on services received. The data is not complete as it does not contain information on casualties among foreign troops or victim-activated IED casualties (with the exception of 2007) and, since 2008, reduced device type detail. The EU evaluation noted that MACCA needs to analyze its data better for RE and other purposes.[91]

Plans

Strategic mine action plan

The core objectives of MACCA plans are to achieve the goals set out in the Afghan Compact which the government agreed with international donors in 2006 and Afghanistan’s obligations under the Mine Ban Treaty.[92] The workplan for Afghan year 1388 (1 April 2009–31 March 2010) targets, in order of priority:

  • the “killing zones” (communities that have recorded casualties every year since 2003);
  • high-impact districts and communities;
  • suspected hazardous areas with victims recorded in the ALIS;
  • small hazards (less than 5,000m2);
  • all hazards within 500m of the center of a community;
  • medium-impacted communities;
  • mountain-top and flat land that did not fit the categories above;
  • donor priorities, including areas with cultural or other benefits;
  • demining organization priorities (funded bilaterally);
  • non-classified hazards that need further investigation; and
  • highly contaminated districts, focusing on those most heavily impacted.[93]

The 1388 workplan calls for clearance of 946 mine/ERW hazards covering 128.7km2 and affecting 484 communities, and “release by technical survey” of a further 75.2km2. Nearly three-quarters of the hazards (73%) and of the estimated area for clearance (71%) are located in the central area (around Kabul) and the northeast of the country. The plan aims to free a total of 320 communities and nearly 80,000 affected families from mine/ERW hazards. It also includes 51 hazards whose clearance will allow MACCA to declare 29 districts free of hazards.[94]

MACCA has also drawn up plans, and was seeking funding, for two additional projects: a US$5 million project to clear 107 hazardous areas within Kabul city limits, covering just under 7km2 of land which are unavailable for housing and pasture but are badly needed by the city’s fast expanding population; and a $40 million, two-year community-based demining project to completely clear four eastern provinces (Kunar, Laghman, Nangahar, and Nurestan). MACCA was also preparing a third project to propose to donors for the complete clearance of Ghazni city, southwest of Kabul, which is to be the Islamic City of Culture in 2013.[95]

MACCA’s three year (2007–2009) internal RE plan is updated annually. A new plan for 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 has been developed.[96] Areas are prioritized for RE on the basis of: incidents, proximity to minefields, previous RE coverage, and presence of recent returnees and internally displaced peoples (IDPs).[97] LIS data, which has been refined over the years, supports prioritization.[98]

Victim assistance

The long-term strategy, “The Way Ahead,” set the following goal for VA: “The End Goal for Mine/ERW survivor assistance will be achieved when mine/ERW survivors are reintegrated into Afghan society, with support provided through a national system that incorporates the rights and needs of people with disabilities.”[99]

In the second half of 2008, the Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan 2008–2011 (ANDAP)—prepared by MoLSAMD with extensive stakeholder consultation[100]—was approved by the government.[101] Development of this plan started as part of Afghanistan’s commitment to the 2004 Nairobi Action Plan but it has become the de facto workplan for the disability sector (see below).

While a sophisticated mechanism was developed to monitor every objective in ANDAP, monitoring of this scope was found to be beyond MoLSAMD’s capacity. ANDAP will be monitored in accordance with the relevant indicators of the development strategy.[102] MACCA supports MoLSAMD in building monitoring capacity.[103] The MoPH started collecting rehabilitation statistics in 2008 to improve referral.[104]

National ownership

Commitment to mine action and victim assistance

Afghanistan has the oldest and largest mine action program in the world. It reports that between 1988 and 2006 the MAPA cleared 12,000 minefields, 300,000 landmines, and more than seven million ERW.[105] It also increased its financial support for mine action. In 2008, the government committed $2.6 million to clearance of an area targeted for Chinese investment in copper mining.[106]

A Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) report summarized the government’s view of mine action as “a moderately high priority but…it’s not broken so there’s no need to fix it.” The report observed “the government has never had to make a collective decision concerning mine action, and its political will has not been tested.”[107]

Between 2005 and 2009, Afghanistan has gradually increased national ownership of VA/disability issues, with the Deputy Minister for Disability Affairs stating that “some of the most significant achievements have been in the transition of responsibility for victim assistance from the UN to the Government of Afghanistan.”[108] Increased involvement started in 2006 and continued with subsequent organizational reinforcements in 2007.[109] MACCA believed that activities of VA/disability operators have “become more prominent” and “the services they provide are considered important if not priorities among the public sector.” [110]

The situation of survivors has not changed significantly despite increased attention to VA/disability. One major achievement was the increased participation of persons with disabilities and their organizations in planning. But DPOs added that survivors were not included more frequently in social, political, cultural issues or employment and that negative attitudes persisted.[111]

An EU evaluation noted that VA was among the “less effective” of MACCA’s program areas.[112] The evaluation noted that VA under MACCA coordination “seemed overly focused” on policy and awareness-raising and that “for mine survivors it is unlikely that such initiatives will generate much in the way of tangible benefits in the short term.” It added that in MACCA planning there was insufficient focus on “practical skills training and income generation measures.”[113] MACCA disagreed with this recommendation.[114]

National management

Current planning provides for transition to full national responsibility for mine action by 2013 and MACCA’s workplan for 1388 provided for MACCA to draw up a draft transition plan and to work with the Inter Ministerial Board on a plan to develop the role of the DMC. MACA appointed an Afghan as the program director for the MAPA for the first time in June 2007 and has progressively nationalized senior staff posts.[115] By 2009, MACCA employed 14 international staff, down from 23 the previous year.[116]

The EU evaluation, however, said the “key stumbling block” to the transition was that the government “has little or no interest in owning either the problem of, or solution to, ERW contamination in Afghanistan.” It added MACCA’s Afghan implementing partners also expressed no interest in changing the status quo. It concluded: “Until these issues are resolved talk of transition is largely meaningless.”[117]

A GICHD assessment in 2008 reported “some progress” in bringing Afghans into decision-making positions and promoting national ownership but also observed that “the DMC presently has little capability and unknown commitment.” The DMC’s endorsement as the focal point for mine action was the result of an ad hoc process which may not represent the final position of the government, and that a broader institutional framework had not been agreed. The report said MACCA should assess whether DMC personnel had the basic skills and commitment and if the DMC’s senior management included a “champion for change.” If not, GICHD recommended “the UN should not waste time and money on capacity development support until changes are agreed.” [118]

VA has been integrated in the disability work of MoLSAMD, MoPH, the Ministry of Education (MoE), and in relevant development plans. Coordination structures and disability departments and mechanisms have been set up in the three ministries and reinforced in 2008.[119] A Deputy Minister for Disability Affairs was appointed at MoLSAMD in August 2008 which, according to MACCA, was “critical to address issues related to social and economic reintegration, and to keep disability on the radar of other ministries and, hopefully, begin better resource mobilization and monitoring of activities.”[120]

Despite this, MoLSAMD still lacked capacity to coordinate VA and monitor implementation; it was also heavily dependent on external funding. MoLSAMD traditionally focused on payment of pensions and had little budget for other services, such as education and employment.[121] Funding challenges were common among all relevant ministries.[122] The unstable political context also hampered the functioning of the ministries. ANDAP will assist in achieving the Afghanistan National Development Strategy.[123]

Implementation of ANDAP is largely left to non-governmental operators (see below). National NGOs were taking on more substantial roles in implementation but also in training and support to DPOs.[124] Two of the largest disability operators in Afghanistan, the ICRC and the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA), noted that no end dates were envisioned for their support. The ICRC reported that Afghanistan was the only country in which it “had completely assumed the task of ensuring access to rehabilitation services.”[125] SCA added there was no end date because “there are a few actors working in the field of disability and, for the time being, the government is also not in a position to take over services nor are DPOs in a position to support all advocacy activities.”[126]

National mine action legislation

The DMC, created in 1998 as a department of the Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority, was seeking a presidential decree confirming the status and lead role assigned to it by the interministerial symposium in January 2008. The DMC also resumed discussions in 2009 with the Ministry of Justice on a draft mine action law it first submitted in 2006.[127]

National mine action standards/Standing operating procedures

MACA conducted a review of national mine action standards (AMAS) from 2006–2007 to ensure consistency with a new concept of operations and restructuring of demining teams.[128] In 2007, MACA also developed a specific chapter of the AMAS to deal with systematic handover of cancelled or otherwise released land to end users.[129] In 2008, amendments to eight chapters of the AMAS, including a rewritten chapter on quality management, were reviewed by a Review Board, made up of representatives of MACCA, international and national NGOs, and international and national commercial companies.[130] There are national standards for RE based on the International Mine Action Standards.[131]

Program evaluations

An EU evaluation said that overall, mine action “represents an extremely successful sector of international development aid programming in Afghanistan” with a track record of delivering results and highly regarded by a wide range of stakeholders. It noted that innovations such as community-based demining “may make mine action even more strategically important” as one of the few international aid interventions capable of working in areas where insecurity is high. As a result it recommended the EU “substantially increase funding” for mine action, “perhaps by 100%.”[132]

The evaluation said MACCA was “adding more value to the MAPA by better analysis of the mines problem as recorded in the national database, and is co-ordinating a more intelligently crafted solution that is driven far more by qualitative factors than ever before.” It described the 1388 annual workplan as “the most systematically intelligent planning process at national programme level observed anywhere in the global mine action industry, possibly to date.”[133]

Part of its success was that national operators were developing their own workplans, breaking a past “culture of dependency” on the UN. “MACCA now sees its role as ensuring that the IPs [implementing partners] are working towards a common strategic vision, represented in progress towards the mine action benchmarks, with responsibility on the staff of the IPs to come up with detailed operational plans in support of the national programme vision.”

The evaluation found mine action “much improved” by operational reforms since 2006, but it also flagged a number of significant concerns. It observed that many national operators lacked the ability and confidence to fulfil the role of full service providers under the new concept of operations[134] and suggested that this could affect safety. The evaluation found “unacceptable” that at least 48 demining accidents were reported by MACCA among Afghan implementing partners in 2008. It also drew attention to problems of missed mines and incidents on previously cleared land. It said MACCA had not responded to requests for information, seemed “defensive” about holding an open review of operational quality standards, and seemed “torn between defending the operational standards of the (implementing partners)...and admitting there is a quality problem.” The evaluation recommended quality assurance should be outsourced to a technically competent agency not operating in Afghanistan.[135]

A GICHD assessment in 2008 said MACA and MAPA organizations “have, collectively great capacity to address contamination problems but also to make more substantial contributions to peace building, reconstruction and poverty reduction.” The report noted that “years of paternalism and micro-management by MACA has stunted some of the capabilities of the Afghan NGOs,” but it concluded MACA had a strong management team which had initiated “excellent” reforms, although it still did not have, and should formulate, a formal, written strategy and medium-term plan.[136]

An evaluation by an independent consultant of MACCA’s post-demining impact assessments (PDIA) found that the Landmine Impact Assessment Teams (LIATs) which conduct PDIA were “conscientious” but also “mechanical.” The report found “information collection analysis and use are still very much top-down processes. They are focused on satisfying donors and headquarters that targets have been reached and money has been well spent, rather than checking that operations are on the right track.”[137] LIATs stuck closely to questionnaires and were more comfortable with figures than community interaction and social impact assessment.[138] AMAC staff, to whom LIATs reported, did not appear to receive information about what percentage of cleared land was not being used and why, and no shift was apparent to community involvement in operational planning and priority-setting.[139]

Demining and Battle Area Clearance

In 2008, some 8,000 Afghans worked for organizations coordinated by MACCA. These included five Afghan NGOs: Afghan Technical Consultants (ATC), Demining Agency for Afghanistan (DAFA), Mine Clearance Planning Agency (MCPA), Mine Detection and Dog Centre (MDC), and Organization for Mine Clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation (OMAR); and two international NGOs, Danish Demining Group (DDG) and HALO Trust. There were also 11 commercial companies operating in 2008, including four Afghan companies (Afghan Campaign for Landmines, Hemayatbrothers Demining International, Kardan Demining Group, and National Demining Support Services); and seven international companies (ArmorGroup, DynCorp International, EOD Technology, MineTech International, RONCO, The Development Initiative—TDI, and UXB International).

Since UNMACA introduced a new concept of operations in November 2006, demining has undergone substantial reform. Operators restructured demining teams into smaller units gaining greater operational flexibility and switched from two to one-person, one-lane drills; all operators were trained for survey, which previously had been conducted exclusively by one NGO, MCPA, and under a policy of regionalization, NGOs concentrated assets in particular geographic areas.[140]

In 2008, MACA introduced a Request for Proposals system for competitive bidding by NGOs and commercial operators for clearance contracts awarded by UNOPS, in an effort both to increase annual clearance and raise efficiency. ArmorGroup won one contract for clearance of a 7km2 airfield at Shindand in western Herat province and completed it.[141] MineTech won a contract for clearance in two locations in Badghis province, but was unable to complete work for what, according to MineTech and MACA, were security reasons. MineTech was assigned a smaller contract close to Herat which was completed in July 2009.[142] As of June 2009, MACCA had not issued any further Requests for Proposals.

MACA also promoted community-based demining (CBD) in 2008 in order to mobilize clearance capacity in areas deemed too insecure to deploy NGO or commercial operators. MACCA planned to employ CBD in 43 communities in southern and eastern Afghanistan, including parts of Ghor, Helmand, Kandahar, Kunar, Nimruz, Paktia, and Zabul provinces.[143] By May 2009, three NGOs had set up a total of 13 CBD teams: three supported by OMAR in Kunar province; two supported by MDC in Uruzgan; and eight teams backed by DAFA in Lashkargah in Helmand province.[144] Quality management of the Kunar CBD was conducted by AMAC Eastern area and for Helmand and Uruzgan by AMAC Southern area. In June 2009, OMAR started operations by four CBD teams in Ghor, and MCPA started six teams operating in Kandahar.[145]

Identification of hazardous areas

The ALIS, completed in January 2005 and certified by the UN on 30 September 2005, provided a basis for significantly refocusing mine action. The survey identified 2,368 mine and UXO-impacted communities and 4,514 SHAs, of which 718 (16%) were high-impact, 1,055 (23%) medium-impact, and 2,741 (61%) low-impact.[146] As a result of the survey, the total SHA in the MACA database fell by 15%, from 850km2 to 715km2.[147]

The ALIS also found that all but two of Afghanistan’s 32 provinces (Daykondi and Uruzgan) were mine-affected, but three-quarters of SHAs—and of recent casualties—were located in only 12 provinces, and half the SHAs were located in just six provinces, led by Kabul.[148] Moreover, 45% of recent casualties recorded by the survey were in the three provinces of Kabul, Parwan, and Takhar.

A polygon survey—more accurate delineation of the perimeter of a SHA—by HALO in its area of operations in 2007 identified 32km2 of affected land not included in the ALIS, but enabled HALO to reduce previously identified suspected hazardous areas by an average of 40%. Those outcomes led MACA to proceed with polygon surveys in most of the rest of the country in 2008–2009, employing HALO and MCPA survey teams.[149] Of Afghanistan’s 245 districts, MACCA rated 79 districts inaccessible for security reasons and planned polygon surveys in a total of 150 districts. HALO and MCPA deployed eight survey teams each and by mid-2009 had completed 123 districts. Surveys in a further 16 districts were suspended for security reasons leaving 27 to be completed, expected by the end of 2009.[150]

MACCA reported in April 2009 that polygon surveys had resulted in a 9% reduction in the total estimated SHA.[151] However, 624 minefield reports submitted by HALO in July and early August 2009 revealed 337 previously unrecorded minefields, adding 20km2 to the total hazardous area in the IMSMA database. As of August 2009, MACCA had a further 200 mined area and 144 battle area reports to process. These included some resurveyed areas but MACCA expected would result in a further increase in the estimated hazardous area.[152]

Mine and battle area clearance in 2008

Despite operational constraints resulting from deteriorating security, total clearance rose by 10% in 2008, partly a result of improved planning and management resulting in more focused operations and improved efficiency on the part of Afghan implementing partners. The amount of mined area cleared was 87% higher than the previous year, pushed up by big increases in clearance by all the demining NGOs, particularly HALO and MDC, but battle area clearance was down by 18% over the previous year. An additional 85km2 was released through area reduction or cancellation (see table below).

Armed opposition and criminal groups have inflicted losses on demining operators in the past two years. After three MDC deminers were shot dead in southern Kandahar province in September 2007, seven more deminers were killed in March 2008: five from Afghan Technical Consultants (ATC) were shot in northern Jawzjan province, and two MDC deminers were killed in Kunduz province. Demining operators also lost vehicles and equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in attacks or raids by insurgent or criminal groups.[153] Security threats have prompted commercial companies to stop moving personnel and assets by road and to use air transport, substantially raising operating costs.[154]

Direct attacks on deminers appeared to diminish in 2009, but three security guards and a MineTech logistics clerk were killed and a driver injured in an attack by insurgents or criminals as they left a MineTech demining site near Herat on 28 May. MineTech concluded the attack was well planned and had targeted international staff working at the site.[155] In July, gunmen kidnapped 16 deminers working for MDC in eastern Paktia province but released them reportedly without any ransom payment after the intervention of local community leaders.[156] DDG experienced two attacks in 2009, the first on 15 July when gunmen fired two rocket-propelled grenade rounds and small arms at a DDG compound in Balkh province and the second on 20 July when two gunmen opened fire at deminers returning from a clearance site, fatally wounding a group supervisor. Initial assessments concluded the attacks were random and had not targeted DDG.[157] A HALO truck suffered damage in a vehicle-activated IED explosion on 20 May 2009 as it delivered ammunition for destruction to a site outside Kabul. Staff in the vehicle suffered only light injuries. Only HALO was using that site and it therefore assumed it was the target.[158]

MAPA clearance results in 2008[159]

 

Mine clearance (km2)

Battle area clearance (km2)

Antipersonnel mines
destroyed

Antivehicle mines destroyed

UXO destroyed

Area cancelled (km2)

Area reduced (km2)

ACL

2.66

1.90

0

0

3,345

0

0

AG

1.17

5.37

345

0

69,776

0

1.38

ATC

6.78

0.77

11,580

130

65,765

0

4.12

DAFA

3.62

0. 67

1,121

134

152,903

0

1.61

DC

0

0

22

4

5,091

0

0

DDG

0.55

3.81

2,194

27

122,450

0.02

0.09

EODT

1.60

0.32

0

1

1,108

0.14

0

HDI

0.23

0.72

5,216

19

22,924

0

0.02

HALO

9.25

92.70

53,559

124

637,872

20.75

1.22

KDG

0.09

6.74

0

0

3

0

0

MCPA

2.37

0.06

144

21

7,123

45.55

1.42

MDC

15.16

0.65

4,550

300

5,262

0

7.13

MT

0.10

0

0

0

2

0

0.003

NDSS

0.03

0

0

0

563

0

0

OMAR

5.48

3.12

5,093

154

68,718

0

1.56

RONCO

2.24

3.84

215

5

12,026

0

0

TDI

0

0.42

0

0

227

0

0

UXB

0.20

0.005

18

3

2,079

0

0

Clearance capacity is concentrated among NGOs, with about 8,000 deminers in total. HALO, the biggest operator in Afghanistan, had increased capacity to 3,200 personnel as of April 2009 (from 2,800 in 2007). It deployed 98 demining teams, 29 mechanical teams, 12 battle area clearance (BAC) teams, nine explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams, and eight survey teams, working in western Herat province, in the north and in the vicinity of Bagram. HALO accounted for two-thirds of the mines and more than half (54%) of UXO cleared through demining operations in 2008 (see table above). It also had 16 weapons and ammunition disposal (WAD) teams and seven WAD survey teams, which destroyed a further 62,925 antipersonnel mines, 435 antivehicle mines, and 1.1 million items of UXO.[160] The other international NGO, DDG with a total staff of 540 in 60 sections, shifted operations from western to northern Afghanistan as part of MACA’s regionalization strategy. It also completed cross-training of its field staff for manual demining, BAC, and EOD.[161]

Among Afghan NGOs, ATC remained the biggest operator with 48 demining teams in 2008, together with eight EOD teams and nine mechanical demining units concentrated in central and southeastern Afghanistan. Its demining teams cleared 45% more land in 2008 than in 2007, but conducted less BAC.[162] MDC operated with 1,260 staff in 32 mine detection dog (MDD) groups (128 MDD), five demining teams, two EOD teams, and six mechanical units, working in the south and south east.[163] OMAR, with 29 manual demining teams, two EOD teams, six mechanical demining units, and three mine detection dog (MDD) sets, focused on operations in western and eastern Afghanistan, also increased the area demined manually by 45%.[164] MCPA, with 490 staff making up 18 demining teams (including six community-based), two EOD teams, three mechanical units, and five MDD sets, focused on clearance in the south and southeast,[165] while DAFA, with 32 demining teams, three mechanical units, and three MDD sets, also operated in the south.[166]

DynCorp International, with 16 international and 172 national staff, managed seven Conventional Weapons Destruction teams set up in 2008 on behalf of the US Department of State’s Weapons Removal and Abatement Program. Three teams operated in Herat on tasks assigned by the Afghan Ministry of Defense. The others operated in the northern provinces of Baghlan, Kunduz, and Samangan, undertaking village clearance tasked by the regional AMAC, but threats against its security prompted the team in Baghlan to move to Kunduz.[167]

Other commercial companies mainly undertake clearance to support infrastructure development such as roads, airfields, power lines, and military and police installations. RONCO has some 700 staff working at Bagram airbase under a contract to the US Air Force renewed in 2008 for four years and some 365 staff, including 10 expatriates, who in 2008 undertook contracts for the US Army Corps of Engineers and NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency.[168] ArmorGroup cleared 4.5km2 in Shindand airfield under MACA’s Request for Proposals program.[169] Among Afghan commercial companies, Hemayatbrothers Demining International (HDI), employing some 200 staff, undertook clearance and BAC in support of construction projects in Farah, Kunduz, and Uruzgan provinces and in April 2008 started a contract for clearance around Bagram airfield.[170]

Progress since becoming a State Party

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, Afghanistan is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 March 2013 (which falls within Afghan Year 1391). This obligation is a key influence in Afghanistan’s strategic planning. The Afghan Compact of 2006 set the target of clearing 70% of hazards and contaminated areas by 2010, and The Way Ahead draft strategy for mine action released in 2006 set the target of completing clearance of all known mined areas by 2013.[171]

At the Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Afghanistan said it had made “strenuous efforts to improve all aspects of our organization and operation so that we might achieve our vision of a mine-free Afghanistan by 2013.”[172] At the intersessional Standing Committee meeting six months later Afghanistan estimated the cost of completion at just over $500 million. Afghanistan stated, “We have the technical ability to achieve this goal. Our only barrier is sufficient funds to get the job done.”[173]

Progress towards mine action benchmarks[174]

 

Adjusted baseline
at 31 July 2009

Remaining contamination at
31 July 2009

Clearance processed 2006–July 31 2009

Compact target–70% by 1389 (2010–2011)

Progress toward Compact target

Treaty target– 100% by 1391 (2012–2013)

Progress towards treaty target

Number of hazards

10,175

6,502

3,944

7,123

55%

10,175

39%

Hazard area

(km2)

1,028

668

363

720

50%

1,028

35%

In the past nine years, demining organizations have cleared more than 250km2 of mined area and 837km2 of battle area (see table below), but continuing new discoveries of contamination have hampered progress towards achieving targets. The area of estimated contamination rose from 656km2 at the end of March 2009 to 668km2 at the end of July as a result of adding in hazards discovered in the course of the polygon survey (see Identification of hazardous areas section above). At the end of May 2009, MAPA estimated it had achieved 89% of the Compact target, 62% of the Mine Ban Treaty target in relation to hazards, and 60% of the Compact target and 42% of the treaty target in relation to area.[175] By the end of July, after processing polygon survey results, MACCA estimated it was about halfway to achieving the Compact targets and had completed 39% of hazards and 35% of the hazardous area due to be cleared to meet Afghanistan’s treaty obligations, lower than the levels reported in April 2008.[176]

Clearance Activities from 2001–2008[177]

Year

Mine clearance (km2)

BAC (km2)

Other land release (km2)

2008

51.53

121.10

85.1

2007

27.51

148.83

78.7

2006

25.93

107.69

33.5

2005

39.72

99.49

16.3

2004

21.78

69.23

N/R

2003

16.65

53.42

N/R

2002

27.47

76.83

N/R

2001

15.70

81.25

N/R

2000*

24.00

80.00

N/R

Total

250.29

837.84

213.60

* Numbers for 2000 are approximate only.

Risk Education

In 2008, MACA reported that more than 1.4 million Afghans received RE, of which over 40% were women and 70% were children.[178] RE interventions are focused on antivehicle mines and ERW.[179] By the end of 2008, more than 68% of the 428 high-impact communities targeted for RE had been reached. In addition, 202,239 returnees were provided with RE. RE teams also visited areas with medium- and low-impact communities during 2008 based on requirements.[180] A successful radio campaign was also implemented.[181]

The Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS) is the biggest implementer, and has activities in almost every province. The ICRC handed over its RE capacity to the ARCS in 2008.[182]

RE has been integrated into the school curriculum for grades seven to 14 and has been produced in local languages with the support of MACA. The MoE has taken an increased role, providing funding, training staff, and monitoring activities. Disability advocacy is incorporated into RE messages in school and is regarded as a particular success of the program.[183] The Ministry of Interior puts three child protection officers in every province, trained in RE and disability awareness, among other things. Each provincial team trains teachers in affected communities on RE and disability issues.[184]

There is sufficient RE capacity to cover all affected areas, but security problems frequently prevent implementation, with RE personnel sometimes unable to leave their homes, and NGOs taking precautionary measures which slow down implementation.[185] In the south, work was suspended by HI for several months in some districts in 2008.[186] The ARCS has female staff in the south who work in clinics and deliver RE.[187]

New RE training aids were developed, with assistance from AAR Japan, for use by all implementing organizations. The materials are illustrated with photographs, and are suitable for use with people with no or low literacy.[188] The materials also included information on the rights of people with disabilities.[189]

Many agencies submitted clearance requests to MACA. However, MAPA implementing agencies have finite resources and assets and therefore are not able to respond to all requests.[190]

Monitoring was conducted both internally by the implementing organizations and externally by the operations departments of MACA and AMACs, through regular field visits by MACA’s national RE project manager.[191] Feedback from monitoring fed into developing effective training, supplies of materials, and ensuring that the relevant authorities were informed about RE activities.[192] RE in schools was monitored by the MoE.[193]

Risk Education Activities in 2008[194]

Organization

Operator type

Type of activity

Geographical areas

No. of recipients

ARCS

International organization

Direct RE in health clinics for women and community based RE

All country (but limited in areas of high insecurity)

340,174 (118,252 adults and 221,922 children)

AAR Japan

NGO

Materials development, radio, mobile cinema

Baghlan, Balkh, Bamyan, Faryab, Kabul, Kunduz, Parwan, and Takhar

118 RE/disability awareness radio messages broadcast, 1404 mobile cinema sessions
reaching 62,865 people

MMCC

NGO

Theatre activities for adults and children

Heart, Baghland, Takhar, and Nangahar

95 performances reaching 93,800 people

OMAR

NGO

RE to returnees

Not available

Not available

Ministry of Education

Government

Teacher training for primary schools, Child Protection Officer training, direct RE in communities, emergency response and data collection

All country, except Ghoor province (for security reasons)

16,293 teachers (14,728 male and 1,565 female)

HI

NGO

Direct RE to refugees, internally displaced persons, communities, schools, and indirect RE through volunteers and at bus stations to travelers; 92 community committees created

Helmand and Kandahar provinces

287,937

DDG

NGO

RE through seven teams

Balkh, Kabul, and Parwan

48,593

HALO

NGO

RE through two teams

Central and north

51,917 (8,857 men, 2,831 women, 28,876 boys, and 11,353 girls)

ISAF

Military

ERW awareness day in Kabul in April 2008; very limited RE and distributed RE materials

Not available

Not available

Overall, MACCA believes that RE is meeting the needs of its target audience and plays a role in reducing incidents, even if it cannot eliminate them completely, although there is a need to continually review the target audience. A gender survey revealed that women valued RE for their children and wished to see it continue.[195]

An evaluation of mine action by GICHD in 2008 found that, “The Afghan NGOs have been the principal providers of MRE since the start of mine action in Afghanistan. However, the ‘traditional MRE’ they provide (e.g. direct delivery of MRE in refugee transit points or to communities) is of limited benefit once conflict and population movements have stopped, and is unsustainable as a standalone activity. MRE needs to be more tightly targeted to at-risk groups and delivered through established institutions. Accordingly, MACA has been working effectively with the Ministry of Education and the Afghan Red Crescent Society to provide ‘residual’ MRE services.”[196] An evaluation of the EU’s program for mine action in Afghanistan concluded that, “Mine risk education (MRE) is conceptually weak” and it recommended a further independent review as it was seen as under-performing. It stated that, “MACCA’s MRE department needs to improve its understanding of the problem, and its solution, by investing time in analyzing victim data within the IMSMA database, and trends that this contains.” It recommended that the European Commission (EC) earmark funding for the ARCS and that it may need a technical consultant.[197]

Extensive RE over the last 10 years has been implemented by up to 15 organizations reaching between almost one million and up to 3.5 million people a year. RE has targeted communities in Afghanistan, including internally displaced persons and returning refugees in Pakistan and Iran.[198]

In 2002, UNICEF joined the program to provide coordination, technical assistance, and capacity-building to MAPA partners, and the Monitoring, Evaluation and Training Agency (META) became responsible for training and monitoring RE organizations and teachers, integrating RE into the school curriculum, and developing materials.[199] In 2006, UNICEF ceased funding RE, and coordination was integrated into UNMACA. RE was coordinated and quality assured by the AMACs.[200]

Several evaluations and surveys have been conducted related to RE. In March 2006, MAPA published a complete RE impact monitoring study based on Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practice surveys conducted in 2004 and 2005. The two surveys showed an overwhelming majority of people were fully aware of the dangers of mines/ERW, but were not sure of safe behavior if they found themselves in a minefield. The MAPA also found that knowledge was higher among boys and young men than women and girls, although incidents were increasing among boys. It concluded that, “economic necessity leads to this subconscious ignoring of danger.”[201] Community interviews conducted as part of the ALIS from November 2003 to November 2004 found only 27% of impacted communities in 32 provinces reported receiving RE in the previous 24 months. Six provinces with recent casualties reported no RE activities.[202]

Afghanistan used Form I in its annual Article 7 report to provide information on RE activities from 2005–2009.[203]

Victim Assistance

The total number of survivors is unknown but is estimated to be between 52,000 and 60,000. In May 2009, Afghanistan stated that despite steady progress and increased commitment, key challenges remained, such as reconstructing health and social services after years of conflict, “increasing employment and education among persons with disability and ensuring the rights of persons with disability are respected.”[204] Representatives of DPOs noted that, since 1999, there had been “very little improvement” in services,[205] because of the limited number of skilled professionals, but also due to a lack of funding as a result of low donor interest in disability.[206]

As in previous years, the ICRC noted that access to services was hampered by a lack of awareness, professionalism, poverty, distances and transportation difficulties, violence, ethnic and political divisions, and prejudice against disability.[207] Access to services for women was even more problematic due to cultural barriers, the lack of qualified female staff, and reluctance to let women work outside the house.[208]

The MoPH coordinates healthcare through two strategies: the Basic Package of Health Services and the Essential Package of Hospital Services, implementation of which is mostly contracted to NGOs and international organizations.[209] Despite increased coverage of these packages,[210] healthcare in Afghanistan remains among the worst in the world. Increased conflict and attacks on health facilities and staff resulted in more than 600,000 Afghans lacking access to services according to April 2009 estimates by the MoPH.[211] This number is twice as high as estimated in the same period of 2008.[212]

Physiotherapy services are available in 19 provinces and through 14 rehabilitation centers. The lack of services in the remaining 15 provinces is problematic.[213] Although the MoPH coordinates the sector, it only runs one center.[214] In 2008, physical rehabilitation services were included in the MoPH health packages, awareness of the importance of rehabilitation services was raised, and training increased.[215]

Conflict-related mental health problems are common in Afghanistan, including among mine/ERW survivors, and are exacerbated by stigma related to disability. Psychosocial support activities remained limited, despite increased attention by the MoPH through training and the establishment of a Mental Health Unit at the ministry.[216] As of 2008, there were five mental health clinics in Kabul.[217]

Stigma and high general unemployment limit the employment prospects of persons with disabilities. SCA noted that, in 2008, employment of persons with disabilities in the government and private sectors had decreased slightly compared to 2007.[218] Unemployment among persons with disabilities was already estimated at 75%, and some 73% did not have access to education. Results of vocational training programs have been disappointing due to a lack of cooperation, funding and infrastructure, poor quality of education, and a lack of employment opportunities afterwards.[219]

Persons with disabilities registered at MoLSAMD receive a pension of AFN300–500 ($6–10) per month depending on the degree of disability. This amount is not considered to be sufficient,[220] and many persons with disabilities are not registered for payments.[221]

The National Law for the Rights and Privileges of Persons with Disabilities, developed in 2006, was approved by the parliament at the end of 2008 but still awaited presidential approval at the end of May 2009.[222] As of 1 July 2009, Afghanistan had not signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), but the convention and supporting documents had been translated into local languages by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.[223] A disability terminology guide was also under development.[224] Several operators noted that the existence of the UNCRPD provided an opportunity to put pressure on the government to support the disability sector. However, the rights of persons with disabilities were generally not ensured due to the lack of a legislative framework.[225]

Progress in meeting VA26 victim assistance objectives

Afghanistan is one of 26 States Parties with significant numbers of mine survivors and “the greatest responsibility to act, but also the greatest needs and expectations for assistance” in providing adequate assistance for the care, rehabilitation and reintegration of survivors.[226] In May 2009, Afghanistan stated that its priorities for VA were: continued implementation of ANDAP (the national disability plan), disability awareness-raising, training and capacity development for implementing agencies, and better mechanisms for coordination, identification of gaps and fundraising.[227]

As part of its commitment to the Nairobi Action Plan, Afghanistan first presented its 2005–2009 victim assistance objectives in 2005 and its plan of action in 2006; the latter was revised to become ANDAP in 2007.[228] ANDAP is SMART-er (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) than its predecessors and assigns clear responsibilities. In places, it is also “less ambitious to take into account the particular challenges faced by the disability sector.”[229] Two components, inclusive education and community-based rehabilitation (CBR), were added.[230] In March 2009, a third national workshop was held to discuss ANDAP and its implementation.[231] Previous workshops were held in 2006 and 2007.[232]

MACA noted that the process leading to the development of the plan had been “very productive,” resulting in the actual plan and increased awareness on the needs, gaps, and challenges faced by both persons with disabilities and government. It further stated that the VA26 process, the informal commitment made by 26 States Parties to work in a more focused manner for achieving actions laid out in the 2005–2009 Nairobi Action Plan, is “not an activity engaged in by the government and is not really understood as a process for evaluation.” [233]

ANDAP was only formally approved in late 2008, and there were delays in translating the plan.[234] Therefore, most stakeholders reported in 2009, as they did in 2008, that they conducted their activities irrespective of the plan.[235] But, as many stakeholders had been involved in the plan’s development, their activities in 2008 contributed to the achievement of a plan.

Overview of progress to June 2009:

  • Data collection: Casualty data collection continued as in the past and was only hampered by the security situation. The implementation of a monitoring system for ANDAP was not achieved by the end of 2008, although the system was developed and some data is gathered through other mechanisms.
  • Emergency and continuing medical care: Progress has been made on objectives scheduled for 2009 relating to staff training for emergencies and awareness. This might be due to greater MoPH involvement, but measures were being taken recently to assess their impact. Emergency evacuation abilities and access are likely adversely affected by increased conflict. Most significant objectives have deadlines for 2010.
  • Physical rehabilitation: Progress was made on capacity-building, awareness-raising, and the regulation of the sector through the integration of physiotherapy in health packages, inclusion of physical rehabilitation in human resource strategies, staff training, collection of service provision statistics, and development of guidelines and curricula.[236] In 2007 objectives were made less ambitious and progress was made mainly by external operators, but more rapid progress in strengthening the sector seems to have been made in 2008 (possibly due to more active MoPH involvement). However, this progress did not yet produce any visible improvement in assistance for survivors.[237]
  • Psychological support and social reintegration: Except for staff training and disability awareness-raising (particularly women with disabilities), no progress was reported for this part of the plan, although many deadlines were set for the end of 2009. Progress does not appear to have impacted lives of survivors or persons with disabilities (see above).
  • Economic reintegration: As in previous years, this remained the weakest component and it was acknowledged as such by the government. None of the plan’s objectives appear to be on track.
  • Laws and public policy: Progress has been made in achieving objectives with 2009 completion dates through the development of terminology, increased awareness-raising, implementation of disability benchmarks in the development strategy, and the establishment of resource centers. Making disability a priority issue was having mixed success due to the many competing challenges: similar mixed results are reported for increased DPO capacity and involvement. The two main objectives for 2008—approval of disability legislation and ratification of UNCRPD—have not been achieved, resulting in little de facto change for persons with disabilities (see above).
  • CBR: In 2008, the CBR network was formalized and strengthened, strategies developed, and a conference bringing together government, NGOs and specialists was held to discuss further expansion and cooperation.[238] It would appear that these objectives (originally elaborated from the physical rehabilitation objectives and with some of the earliest deadlines[239]) are on track for achievement. Except for ongoing NGO activities, no notable progress in inclusive education was reported to Landmine Monitor.

Throughout the reporting period, Afghanistan was actively involved in VA at the international level, assuming the role of co-chair of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration at the Sixth Meeting of States Parties. In this capacity, it stated its aim “to lead by example and develop a plan of action to meet the needs of landmine victims and other people with disabilities.”[240] The Mine Ban Treaty’s Implementation Support Unit undertook six process support visits to Afghanistan. Afghanistan included VA/disability experts on its delegation at the intersessional Standing Committee meetings held from 2005–2008, and for the meetings of States Parties in 2005, 2006, and 2008, including four deputy ministers and two survivors. Afghanistan provided status updates at all meetings between 2005 and 2009 and reported in detail on its activities in Form J of its Article 7 report throughout the period.[241]

Victim assistance activities

There are many stakeholders in the VA/disability sector and MACA said that to its knowledge none ceased their activities in 2008 and it was not aware of new organizations starting.[242] Therefore, only those providing updated information to Landmine Monitor are included below. Information on the others can be found in previous editions of Landmine Monitor.

Government services

MoLSAMD, with support from MACA, organized several regional workshops to raise awareness on ANDAP and the rights of persons with disabilities. Some 383 people participated in seven cities.[243]

The newly established Disability and Rehabilitation Department at the MoPH trained 312 medical staff in 10 provinces, 400 graduate medical staff, 20 staff of implementing partners for the Basic Package of Health Services, and eight mobile medical teams assisting Kochi nomads, on disability and physical rehabilitation issues to facilitate access to services. In addition, 44 rehabilitation staff and 20 DPO staff were trained in psychosocial support and 20 surgeons in emergency care. The MoPH further integrated physiotherapy in services of 56 district hospitals, upgraded rehabilitation staff, and held a CBR workshop. The MoPH had a budget of $200,000 for disability in 2008, financed through the EC, MACA, and its own resources, but lacked funding to activate the physical rehabilitation center in Khost.[244]

The MoE included disability awareness in the national school curriculum and 16,293 teachers received disability awareness (and RE) training.[245] The curriculum was reviewed by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, which was also actively involved in awareness raising and production and distribution of materials on the UNCRPD.[246]

NGO services

The Afghan Landmine Survivors’ Organization (ALSO), which started activities in 2008, provided peer support and referral services, especially to new survivors or newly disabled persons and their families through regular counseling sessions in several hospitals in Kabul and self-help groups. ALSO was also engaged in advocacy and VA related to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. ALSO invested in improving its organizational structure and planning but is dependent on ad hoc funding.[247]

In 2008, Development and Ability Organization (DAO) provided rights and disability training in 10 provinces for community leaders and officials involved in service provision and for persons with disabilities involved in ANDAP implementation. It produced radio and television programs documenting the abilities and challenges of persons with disabilities. DAO reported providing social reintegration services to survivors and took a lead on developing standard disability terminology for MoLSAMD. As in previous years, the security and funding situation hampered DAO activities.[248]

The Community Center for the Disabled (CCD) provides socio-economic reintegration to persons with disabilities, as well as disability awareness sessions which include RE. With its awareness-raising program it reached 4,800 people in 2008; 779 persons with disabilities received socio-economic services.[249]

In 2008, Afghan Amputee Bicyclists for Rehabilitation and Recreation provided vocational training, basic education, bicycle rehabilitation, physiotherapy, wheelchair and bicycle repair services, sports, as well as training in proposal writing and problem identification in eight provinces. The main challenges to its work were long-term donor commitments and security.[250]

Kabul Orthopedic Organization (KOO) is the only national NGO providing physical rehabilitation and run by a female director. KOO also provides awareness training and a new income-generating project repairing demining equipment for Afghan Technical Consultants. It provided physical rehabilitation to more than its target of 6,000 people in 2008 (7,359 receiving 15,033 services).[251] It treated mostly military casualties and saw this number increase due to intensified conflict. KOO signed an agreement with the Ministry of Defense to provide services to the national army. Its biggest challenge was lack of funding.[252]

The Physical Therapy Institute (PTI) supported by the International Assistance Mission provides professional physiotherapy training and rehabilitation services (to 869 persons with disabilities in 2008). PTI started the new physiotherapy curriculum at the end of May 2008 (18 students) and teachers and clinical staff received upgrade training in December 2008 (17 students). A psychology manual was developed for inclusion in PTI’s training courses. PTI was also involved in the MoPH-coordinated disability rights training for services providers.[253]

In 2008, the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) continued to expand its comprehensive community-based Rehabilitation of Afghans with Disabilities (RAD) program in 42 districts in 13 provinces. It also started providing technical and financial support to four DPOs. As in 2007, it was challenged in certain provinces, particularly Ghazni, Logar, and Wardak, by the security situation and its limited number of female professionals. SCA-RAD assisted 175,477 persons with disabilities, slightly higher than its target of 166,100.[254] More services were provided to survivors than in 2007 (27,097 vs. 21,549). The physical rehabilitation component was evaluated by Sandy Gall’s Afghanistan Appeal in 2008 and impact surveys were carried out for the employment and awareness-raising activities. SCA did not face funding challenges in 2008 but had to make some cuts in 2009 due to currency exchange rate fluctuations and increased fixed costs (fuel and supply prices).[255]

Due to increased conflict in 2008, many areas outside the capitals in southern and eastern provinces were “off-limits” for the ICRC, which relied on local ARCS volunteers. The ICRC supported 12 health facilities and, in cooperation with the ARCS, enhanced referral, first-aid and surgical capacity, as well as hospital security to deal with the increased number of war-injured. It treated 2,388 weapon-injured (1,621 in 2007) and nearly double the number of mine/ERW casualties in 2008 (434 versus 286).[256] The ICRC also continued to support six rehabilitation centers and the component factory, four non-ICRC rehabilitation centers (with material and training), as well as a socio-economic reintegration project.[257] Some 66,595 people received physical rehabilitation services and more than 2,300 received socio-economic assistance; 600 persons with disabilities worked in the ICRC centers. The ICRC started a three-year prosthetics and orthotics course in coordination with the MoPH; 16 trainees enrolled (seven women).[258] One of the main achievements of 2008 for the ICRC rehabilitation program was the increased transfer of managerial responsibilities to national staff, and quality improvements. Due to the increasing number of patients, however, it was challenged to balance quantity and quality of services. While no funding challenges have been encountered in 20 years of operations, the ICRC estimated that difficulties “could appear in the second part of 2009.”[259]

In 2008 HI continued to expand the following programs in Kabul, Herat, Kandahar, and Helmand: physical rehabilitation and physiotherapy in the Afghan health systems at the national and community levels; developing and replicating models for socio-economic inclusion for people with disabilities; advocating for people with disabilities through lobbying Afghan authorities and supporting local civil society; and implementing community-based RE in the South. Challenges in this work included the volatile security situation, difficulties in monitoring activities, and long recruitment periods for expatriate staff, which cause continuity problems and increased pressure on the teams.[260]

2008 Victim Assistance Activities[261]

Name of organization

Type of organization

National/international

Type of activity

Number of mine survivors assisted

ALSO

DPO

National

Peer support, advocacy

At least 214 survivors

CCD

NGO

National

Socio-economic reintegration, advocacy

At least 30 survivors

DAO

DPO

National

Social reintegration, advocacy

At least 1,240 survivors

HI

International organization

International

Physical rehabilitation, socio-economic reintegration, advocacy, RE

8,019 multiple services provided to survivors

ICRC

International organization

International

Medical care, physical rehabilitation, socio-economic reintegration, training, materials

Medical care for 434 mine/ERW casualties, 2,653 prostheses and orthoses for survivors

KOO

NGO

National

Physical rehabilitation, socio-economic reintegration

2,932 survivors

MoLSAMD

Government

National

Coordination/training

N/A

MoPH

Government

National

Coordination/training

N/A

PTI-IAM

NGO

National/international

Physical rehabilitation/training

35 people trained

SCA-RAD

NGO

International

Data collection, CBR, physical rehabilitation, psychosocial support, economic reintegration, inclusive education, advocacy, and capacity-building

27,097 multiple services to survivors

Support for Mine Action

Afghanistan has not reported a comprehensive long-term cost estimate for meeting all its mine action needs. In May 2009, Afghanistan reported that fulfillment of clearance obligations will cost roughly $500 million over a period of five years.[262] The MAPA Integrated Operational Plan for the period from April 2009 to March 2010 includes a budget estimate of $104,028,000, including $11,319,000 for mine action coordination, transition of coordination to government and capacity-building; $90,015,000 for survey and clearance of mines and ERW; and $2,694,000 for RE field operations.[263] The plan assumes that funds would be raised from sources including the UN Voluntary Trust Fund (VTF), bilateral donor contributions directly to implementing partners, and contributions from the government of Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s latest Article 7 report states that among its management responsibilities, MACCA is expected to manage mine action implementation using VTF funding on behalf of the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS).[264]

National support for mine action

Afghanistan did not report national funding for mine action in 2008. It reported contributing AFN14,364,447 ($288,725) for mine clearance in 2007. The Integrated Operational Plan for the period from April 2009 to March 2010 states that, “more substantive efforts will be made to further explore and strengthen options for funding humanitarian mine action activities through the Government of Afghanistan.”[265] No reference is made in the plan to commitments from the government of Afghanistan during 2008. In May 2009, Afghanistan reported a commitment by the government of $2,600,000 during 2009 to carry out clearance in support of development of a copper mine.[266]

International cooperation and assistance

In 2008, 18 countries reported providing $105,070,944 (€71,350,633) to mine action in Afghanistan, approximately 22% more than mine action funding reported in 2007. Annual funding at 2008 levels appears sufficient to meet the requirements stated by Afghanistan for fulfilling its mine action targets. In January 2009, however, MACCA reported that funding to Afghanistan’s mine action program was threatened by the global economic situation.[267] In March 2009, the UN Secretary General’s report on Afghanistan to the Security Council cited a funding shortfall of roughly $53 million in 2009 against requirements to meet the Afghanistan Compact benchmarks.[268]

2008 International Mine Action Support to Afghanistan: In-Kind[269]

Donor

Form of In-Kind Support

Monetary Value

(where available)

Belgium

ERW/IED clearance personnel

$1,278,217 (€868,000)

Spain

Mine clearance EOD personnel via ISAF peacekeeping

$773,115 (€525,000)

2008 International Mine Action Funding to Afghanistan: Monetary[270]

Donor

Recipient

Activity

Total

Canada

GICHD, UNMAS

Capacity-building, integrated mine action

$26,963,492 (C$28,742,663)

US

Department of State, Centers for Disease Control

Mine clearance, EOD, BAC, survey, RE, VA, capacity-building,

$17,169,000 ($17,169,000)

Japan

UNMAS, Japan Mine Action Service, OMAR

Mine clearance, EOD, RE

$12,154,529 (¥1,253,044,194)

UK

HALO

Mine clearance

$7,762,805 (£4,185,929)

Germany

DDG, HALO, MDC

Mine clearance

$7,201,013 (€4,889,999)

Netherlands

UNMAS, DDG

Unspecified mine action

$7,368,420.00

Italy

ICRC, UNMAS

VA, mine clearance

$4,447,407 (€3,020,105)

Australia

UNMAS

Community Clearpath

$4,268,500 (A$5,000,000)

Spain

 

Mine clearance, VA, unspecified mine action

$3,460,610 (€2,350,000)

Denmark

DDG, UNMAS

Integrated mine action

$3,537,000 (DKK18,000,000)

Finland

UNMAS

Survey, mine clearance

$3,092,460 (€2,100,000)

Norway

HALO

Mine clearance

$2,176,166 (NOK12,267,000)

Belgium

HALO, Service d’enlèvement des engins explosifs (SEDEE-DOVO)

Mine/ERW clearance

$391,937 (€266,153)

Sweden

DDG

Unspecified mine action

$1,519,000 (SEK10,000,000)

Ireland

HALO

Integrated mine action

$1,178,080 (€800,000)

Luxembourg

UNMAS

Coordination, capacity-building

$294,520 (€200,000)

Switzerland

HI

VA

$34,673 (CHF37,500)

In addition to the above, New Zealand reported contributing a military liaison officer for mine action from ISAF to MACCA in 2008, but did not report a valuation.[271]

The EC reported in the May 2009 intersessional Standing Committee meetings that in 2008 it had made a €39 million ($57.4 million) general commitment “to support future action” in a number of states, including Afghanistan. It did not specify the amounts available to individual countries.[272] The EC told Landmine Monitor in June 2009 that the commitment “can be subject to changes” before its final adoption by the EC.[273]

HALO reported receiving funds from Japan, the Netherlands, Finland and the Czech Republic in 2008.[274] None of these donors reported funding directly to HALO in 2008; however, Japan and the Netherlands reported funding to HALO in 2007.


[1] The UN coordinated the Mine Action Programme for Afghanistan (MAPA) through the UN Mine Action Center for Afghanistan, (UNMACA), until 2007 when it became referred to as the Mine Action Center for Afghanistan (MACA) and in January 2009 it was renamed the Mine Action Coordination Centre of Afghanistan (MACCA).

[2] In May 2009, Afghanistan repeated from previous Article 7 reports that “its constitution adopted in January 2005 requires the country to respect all international treaties it has signed. The Ministry of Defense instructed all military forces to respect the comprehensive ban on antipersonnel mines and the prohibition on use in any situation by militaries or individuals.” Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008), Form A. In addition, no action had been taken as of 1 July 2009 on a 2004 draft law on mine action. Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACCA, 17 March 2009.

[3] Previous Article 7 reports were submitted on: 13 May 2008, 30 April 2007, 1 May 2006, 30 April 2005, 30 April 2004, and 1 September 2003.

[4]For further details on its cluster munitions policy, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice, Mines Action Canada, May 2009, pp. 27–28.

[5] On 11 October 2007, Afghanistan formally notified the Implementation Support Unit of the Mine Ban Treaty that “Afghanistan has now fully completed the destruction of all its known stockpiles of Anti-Personnel Mines.” Letter from Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spania, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to Kerry Brinkert, Manager, Implementation Support Unit, GICHD, 11 October 2007.

[6] In April 2007, Afghanistan informed States Parties that while it had destroyed 486,226 stockpiled antipersonnel mines, two depots of antipersonnel mines still remained in Panjsheer province, about 150km north of Kabul. Provincial authorities did not make the mines available for destruction in a timely fashion. For details on the destruction program and reasons for not meeting the deadline, Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 89–90, and Landmine Monitor Report 2008, pp. 79–80.

[7] Khaled Zekriya, Head of Mine Action, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Update on Stockpile Destruction,” Statement to the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 23 April 2007.

[8] Article 7 Report, Form G, 13 May 2008.

[9] Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008), Form G. PFM-1 mines have been identified by other States Parties as especially problematic to destroy. Other mines destroyed included (as listed by Afghanistan): 52 Claymore, four LO-6, three M18, 11 M-4, 23 MON-100, five MON-50, four MS-3, six No. 4, three OZM, 247 OZM-72, one P-2, 60 P-4, two PMD-6, 774 PMN, 102 PMN-2, 267 POMZ-2, seven PPMISR, three TS-50, 10 Type 69, 65 Type 72, 2,231 YM-1, and 40 unknown mines.

[10] Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008), Form F. Mines were destroyed in Baghlan, Balkh, Bamayan, Faryab, Herat, Jawzjan, Kabul, Kapisa, Kunar, Kunduz, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Paktya, Parwan, Samangan, Sari Pul, Shiberghan, Takhar, and Wardak provinces.

[11] Afghanistan provides very detailed reporting, however, it should make unambiguously clear that the mines in Form G are acquired through recoveries, and that the mines in Form F indicate the destruction of same. Landmine Monitor clarified this only through communications in June 2008.

[12] Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008), Form D.

[13] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, pp. 80–81; Article 7 report (for calendar year 2008), Form D, states, “MACCA and implementing partners retained these mines from stockpile destructions.”

[14] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, pp. 80–81.

[15] Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008), Form D.

[16] Report of the Secretary-General, “The situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security,” A/63/751–S/2009/135, 10 March 2009; and NATO, Public Diplomacy Division, “Afghanistan Report 2009,” 31 March 2009, www.nato.int.

[17] See, for example, “U.S. troops strike hard at Taliban, 13 insurgents killed in surprise attack in Afghanistan valley,” New York Times (Korangal Outpost, Afghanistan), 18 April 2009.

[18] These explosive devices have killed and injured international and national troops, government officials, and national and international aid workers, including mine action personnel, and other civilians. Antivehicle devices are often made from shells, rockets, mines, and other munitions, and are transported to the site by bicycle or donkey, placed, and detonated from a distance once a target comes into sight.

[19] In May 2009, the website listed the details of 247 different attacks with dozens of vehicles allegedly destroyed and many alleged military casualties. See www.alemarah1.org.

[20] “Hekmatyar men claim responsibility for killing 4 NATO soldiers in Afghanistan,” People’s Daily online, 16 March 2009, english.people.com.cn.

[21]Mark Tran, “Insurgent intelligence,” The Guardian, 17 June 2008, www.guardian.co.uk; Doug Schmidt, “Kandahar City braces for Taliban attack,” Canwest News Service (Kandahar), 16 June 2008, www.canada.com; and “Residents flee as Taliban brace for Afghan offensive,” Agence France-Presse (Arghandab), 17 June 2008, www.breitbart.com.

[22] “Afghanistan: Landmines impede civilians’ return to volatile Arghandab,” IRIN (Kandahar), 22 June 2008, www.irinnews.org.

[23] ICBL, “Afghanistan: ICBL concerned by Taliban use allegations,” 19 June 2008, www.icbl.org.

[24] He also said that insurgents were producing Claymore-type weapons. Drew Brown, “Afghanistan’s kinetic action,” Stars and Stripes, 14 January 2009, www.stripes.com.

[25] “Three suspected Taliban arrested with explosives,” Pajhwok Afghan News (Pul-i-Khumri), 5 August 2008.

[26] Drew Brown, “Canadian soldiers uncover Taliban weapons cache,” Stars and Stripes, 12 October 2008, www.stripes.com.

[27] “Afghan, Allied Forces Destroy Weapons Cache; Taliban Lose 11 Members,” American Forces Press Service, 28 December 2008, www.defenselink.mil.

[28] Thomas Harding, “Commandos smash Taliban bomb factory,” Telegraph, 13 January 2009, www.telegraph.co.uk.

[29] “Large Weapons Cache Discovered in Zabul Province (Afghanistan),” US Fed News (Kandahar Airfield),
8 August 2008.

[30] Zabihullah Ehsas, “Arms depot discovered in Sari-i-Pul,” Pajhwok Afghan News (Mazar-i-Sharif), 15 November 2008.

[31] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 88.

[32] Interviews with AMAC West, Herat, 19 May 2009; and with demining operators in Kabul, 23–30 April 2008.

[33] “Weapons cache discovery underscores risks to civilians,” IRIN, 4 December 2008, www.alertnet.org; and James Warden, “Cache deals: for troops in Afghanistan who depend on tips from locals trust is everything,” Stars and Stripes, 8 May 2009.

[34] Patrick Fruchet and Mike Kendellen, “Landmine Impact Survey Afghanistan: results and implications for planning,” Journal of Mine Action, Issue 9.2, February 2006.

[35] Emails from MACCA, 18 June 2009 and from MACCA Deputy Programme Director, 20 August 2009.

[36] Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice, Mines Action Canada, May 2009, pp. 27–28.

[37] SAC, “Afghan Landmine Impact Survey,” 2005, p. 52.

[38] HALO, the biggest demining operator in Afghanistan, reports that it continues to find abandoned Soviet cluster munitions but has not cleared a Soviet cluster strike in more than five years and finds only occasional Soviet submunitions in the course of demining or BAC operations. HALO reports it cleared 9,000 unexploded US submunitions from 2002–2003 and a further 1,780 unexploded submunitions between 2004 and 2008. In the first half of 2009 it cleared 76 unexploded submunitions. Email from Ollie Pile, Weapons and Ammunition Disposal Officer, HALO, 30 June 2009.

[39] Unless noted otherwise, Landmine Monitor analysis of casualty data for the period 1999–2009 provided by MACCA, Kabul, 26 May 2009; and Landmine Monitor media monitoring between 1 January 2008 and 31 May 2009.

[40] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 90.

[41] Several more US casualties were reported in IED incidents, but insufficient information was available to determine whether these were victim-activated or remote-detonated devices; statistics from www.defenselink.mil.

[42] HALO noted that the increase in casualties might also be due to increased recording of people involved in ISAF attacks as ERW casualties and reporting of IED casualties as mine casualties. Email from Tom Dibb, Senior Operations Manager, HALO, 18 August 2009.

[43] This total is higher than reported in Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 90, due to the continuous updating of the casualty database. In August 2009, MACCA subsequently revised its total to 777, but this information could not be included in Landmine Monitor since detailed casualty data was not provided for analysis.

[44] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 90.

[45] Email from Deputy Programme Director, MACCA, 20 August 2009.

[46] Email from MACCA, 27 May 2009.

[47] Emails from Maj. Martin L. O’Donnell, US Army, 23 and 24 May 2008.

[48] 1999: 1,684; 2000: 1,412; 2001: 2,062; 2002: 1,419. 2003: 941; 2004: 911; 2005; 1,122; 2006: 906; 2007: 781; and 2008: 831.

[49] Cluster submunitions casualties were not specified in MACA data due to a change in the recording mechanism. For more information on cluster submunitions casualties in Afghanistan see, Handicap International, Circle of Impact: The Fatal Footprint of Cluster Munitions on People and Communities (Brussels: HI, May 2007), pp. 93–103.

[50] Email from MACCA, 24 June 2009.

[51] HI, “Understanding the Challenge Ahead, National Disability Survey in Afghanistan,” Kabul, 2006.

[52] MAPA, “National Operational Work Plan 1385 (1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007),” Kabul, 1 April 2006.

[53] SAC, “Afghan Landmine Impact Survey,” 2005, Executive Summary, p. 7.

[54] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 92–93.

[55] Email from MACA, 30 April 2008.

[56] MAPA, “1388 Integrated Operational Plan” (Version 1.0), Kabul, 20 October 2008, p. 61. Hereinafter, this document is referred to as the “1388 Integrated Operational Plan.”

[57] Interview with MACCA and Abdul Haq Rahim, Director, DMC, Kabul, 18 May 2009. A GICHD assessment of MACA based on a staff mission in June 2008 reported that up to that date the IMB had met only once.

[58] Interviews with MACA, Kabul, 25 May 2008; and interview with Abdul Haq Rahim, DMC, Kabul, 26 May 2008.

[59] Interview with MACCA and Abdul Haq Rahim, DMC, Kabul, 18 May 2009; and Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 83.

[60] Thus, commercial clearance, which MACCA does not contract directly, and demining by ISAF are outside of its purview.

[61] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 93.

[62] Email from MACCA, 23 June 2009.

[63] Interview with MACCA and Abdul Haq Rahim, DMC, Kabul, 18 May 2009; and emails from MACCA,
31 March 2009 and 20 August 2009.

[64] MAPA, “1388 Integrated Operational Plan,” Kabul, 20 October 2008, p. 11.

[65] Paul Davies and Bruce Todd, “Mid Term Evaluation of the Mine Action Programme in Afghanistan – Final Report,” EU, April 2009, pp. 20, 26.

[66] See Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 93.

[67] Ibid.

[68] Email from MACCA, 30 March 2009.

[69] Ibid.

[70] Ibid.

[71] Email from Awlia Mayar, CBMRE Project Manager, HI, 2 April 2009.

[72] Email from MACCA, 30 March 2009.

[73] Email from Awlia Mayar, HI, 2 April 2009.

[74] Interview with Deputy Programme Director, MACA, in Geneva, 29 May 2008.

[75] Letter to Landmine Monitor from Prof. Wasil Noor Mohammad, MoLSAMD, 11 June 2008.

[76] Statement by Suraya Paikan, Deputy Minister, MoLSAMD, Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva,
27 November 2008.

[77] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACCA, 29 March 2009.

[78] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 101.

[79] Ibid; and Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 107–108.

[80] MoLSAMD Disability Support Unit, “Disability Stakeholders Coordination Group (DSCG) – Meeting Minutes,” Kabul, 21 April 2009; and MoLSAMD Disability Support Unit, “Minutes of the DCG meeting,” Kabul, 8 October 2008.

[81] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Razi Khan Hamdard, Advisor, Disability and Rehabilitation Department, MoPH, 2 April 2009.

[82] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACCA, 29 March 2009.

[83] Statement of Afghanistan, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 26 May 2009; response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACCA, 29 March 2009; and email from Ruby Khan, Project Coordinator, International Rescue Committee (IRC), Kabul, 26 June 2009.

[84] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Razi Khan Hamdard, MoPH, 2 April 2009.

[85] MoLSAMD Disability Support Unit, “Minutes of the DCG meeting,” Kabul, 8 October 2008; response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Omara Khan Muneeb, Director, Development and Ability Organization (DAO), 18 June 2009; and telephone interview with ALSO staff, 16 June 2009. Reportedly, the government is reluctant to involve “the more activist disability organizations” in its activities. This issue was also noted by participants when Landmine Monitor participated in the first national workshop on victim assistance in August 2006.

[86] Interview with MACCA, Kabul, 18 May 2009.

[87] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 84; and interview with MACCA, Kabul, 18 May 2009.

[88] Email from MACCA, 30 March 2009.

[89] Paul Davies and Bruce Todd, “Mid Term Evaluation of the Mine Action Programme in Afghanistan – Final Report,” EU, April 2009, p. 35.

[90] Ibid, pp. 3, 27. MACCA disagrees with this statement about ARCS data collection, believing that their systems have been strengthened over the past two years. Email from Deputy Programme Director, MACCA, 20 August 2009.

[91] Paul Davies and Bruce Todd, “Mid Term Evaluation of the Mine Action Programme in Afghanistan – Final Report,” EU, April 2009, p. 8.

[92] MAPA, “1388 Integrated Operational Plan,” Kabul, 20 October 2008, pp. 21–22.

[93] There are four districts in Afghanistan with more than 75 SHAs within the district boundaries.

[94] MAPA, “1388 Integrated Operational Plan,” 20 October 2008, pp. 31–34.

[95] Telephone interview with MACCA, 18 June 2009; and email from MACCA, 23 June 2009.

[96] Email from MACCA, 30 March 2009.

[97] Ibid; and interview with Deputy Programme Director, MACCA, in Geneva, 29 May 2009.

[98] Interview with Deputy Programme Director, MACCA, in Geneva, 29 May 2009.

[99] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 101.

[100] Statement of Afghanistan, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 26 May 2009; and Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 99.

[101] MoLSAMD Disability Support Unit, “Minutes of the DCG meeting,” Kabul, 8 October 2008.

[102] Interview with Deputy Programme Director, MACCA, in Geneva, 26 May 2009; and responses to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Fiona Gall, Senior Technical Advisor and Amin Qanet, CBR Senior Technical Officer, SCA, Kabul, 4 May 2009; and DAO, 18 June 2009.

[103] Response to Landmine Monitor VA questionnaire by MACCA, 29 March 2009. A first ANDAP progress report was planned for March 2010 (the end of Afghan year 1388).

[104] Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008), Form J.

[105] Statement of Afghanistan, Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 27 November 2008. As of July 2009, MACCA reported over 18,000 minefields had been cleared together with more than 470,000 antipersonnel landmines, 27,000 antivehicle mines, and 11 million ERW.

[106] Statement of Afghanistan to the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 27 May 2009.

[107] Ted Paterson, Faiz Paktian and William Fryer, “Assessment of the Mine Action Centre for Afghanistan,” GICHD, August 2008, p. 31.

[108] Statement by Suraya Paikan, MoLSAMD, Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 27 November 2008.

[109] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, pp. 100–102; and Landmine Monitor Report 2007, pp. 106–108.

[110] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACCA, 29 March 2009.

[111] Email from AABRAR Jalalabad office, 23 June 2009; responses to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by DAO, 18 June 2009; and Nasem Khan Ali Yar, Senior Coordinator, ALSO, Kabul, 25 June 2009.

[112] Paul Davies and Bruce Todd, “Mid Term Evaluation of the Mine Action Programme in Afghanistan – Final Report,” EU, April 2009, p. 41.

[113] Ibid, p. 39.

[114] Ibid, p. 63.

[115] Email from Deputy Programme Director, MACCA, 20 August 2009.

[116] Interview with MACCA, Kabul, 18 May 2009; and Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 84.

[117] Paul Davies and Bruce Todd, “Mid Term Evaluation of the Mine Action Programme in Afghanistan – Final Report,” EU, April 2009, p. 27.

[118] Ted Paterson, Faiz Paktian and William Fryer, “Assessment of the Mine Action Centre for Afghanistan,” GICHD, August 2008, pp. 35-36.

[119] Interview with Deputy Programme Director, MACCA, in Geneva, 26 May 2009; see also Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 101; and Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 107.

[120] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACCA, 29 March 2009.

[121] MoLSAMD Disability Support Unit, “Disability Stakeholders Coordination Group (DSCG) – Meeting Minutes,” Kabul, 21 April 2009; and response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Fiona Gall and Amin Qanet, SCA, 4 May 2009.

[122] MoLSAMD Disability Support Unit, “Minutes of the DCG meeting,” Kabul, 8 October 2008.

[123] Statement of Afghanistan, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 26 May 2009.

[124] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 30 April 2008.

[125] ICRC, “Physical Rehabilitation Programme: Annual Report 2008,” Geneva, 7 May 2009, p. 34; and response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Alberto Cairo, Head of Rehabilitation Program, ICRC, 11 April 2009.

[126] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Fiona Gall and Amin Qanet, SCA, 4 May 2009.

[127] Interview with MACCA and Abdul Haq Rahim, DMC, 18 May 2009; and see also Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 92.

[128] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, pp. 85–86.

[129] Email from MACA, 30 April 2008.

[130] Emails from MACCA, 18 May and 17 June 2009.

[131] Email from MACCA, 30 March 2009.

[132] Paul Davies and Bruce Todd, “Mid Term Evaluation of the Mine Action Programme in Afghanistan – Final Report,” EU, April 2009, p. 2.

[133] Ibid, p. 15.

[134] Ibid, p. 16.

[135] Ibid, pp. 32–33.

[136] Ted Paterson, Faiz Paktian and William Fryer, “Assessment of the Mine Action Centre for Afghanistan,” GICHD, August 2008, pp. 21, 35.

[137] Sippi Azarbaijani-Moghaddam, “Assessment of Post Demining Impact Assessment for the Mine Action Coordination Centre of Afghanistan,” March 2009, p. 7.

[138] Ibid, p. 15.

[139] Ibid, pp. 16–18.

[140] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 85.

[141] Email from MACCA, 18 May 2009; and interview with Rob Hallam, Country Manager, ArmorGroup, Kabul, 18 May 2009.

[142] Email from MACCA, 18 May 2009; interview with Bobby de Beer, Program Manager, MineTech, Herat,
19 May 2009; and email from Deputy Programme Director, MACCA, 20 August 2009.

[143] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 86.

[144] Email from MACCA, 18 May 2009. In three months (16 December 2008 to 12 March 2009) the CBD teams cleared a total of 242,754m2 of mined areas and 173,799m2 of battle areas, with the destruction of 42 antipersonnel mines and 4,369 items of UXO.

[145] Email from MACCA, 18 May 2009.

[146] SAC, “Afghan Landmine Impact Survey,” 2005, p. 19.

[147] Ibid, pp. 8–9.

[148] Ibid, pp. 19–26; and email from unnamed program officer, UNMAS, 20 July 2006. Kabul accounted for 313 affected communities (13% of affected communities), 155 SHAs (18%), and 420 recent victims (19%).

[149] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 86.

[150] Emails from MACCA, 18 June 2009; and from MACCA Deputy Programme Director, 20 August 2009.

[151] Email from MACCA, 31 March 2009.

[152] Email from Deputy Programme Manager, MACCA, 20 August 2009.

[153] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 87.

[154] Interviews with commercial clearance companies, Kabul, 17–22 May 2009.

[155] MineTech, “Incident Report,” 28 May 2009; and email from Nico Bosman, Operations Manager, MineTech International, Kabul, 7 July 2009.

[156] “Kidnappers free 16 Afghan demining workers – agency,” Reuters, 6 July 2009, www.reuters.com.

[157]Telephone interview with Pi Tauber, Program Assistant, DDG, 12 August 2009.

[158] “IED Incident Report – Deh Sabz, CDS, Bagram,” HALO, 20 May 2009.

[159] Email from MACCA, 31 March 2009.

[160] Email from Tom Dibb, HALO, 5 May 2009.

[161] Email from Clinton Smith, Country Program Manager, DDG, 19 May 2009.

[162] Interview with Kefayatullah Eblagh, Director, ATC, Kabul, 18 May 2009.

[163] Email from Shah Wali Aybui, Executive Operations Manager, MDC, 9 July 2009.

[164] Email from MACCA, 31 March 2009.

[165] Interview with Haji Attiqullah, Director, MCPA, Kabul, 18 May 2009.

[166] Email from MACCA, 31 March 2009.

[167] Email from Skip Hartberger, Task Order Project Manager, DynCorp International, 4 July 2009. DynCorp reports that clearance data provided by MACCA includes only results of its three northern teams and that its teams cleared 160,833m2 of battle area, and destroyed 420,077 items of UXO.

[168] Interview with Peter Williams, Operations Manager, RONCO, Kabul, 17 May 2009.

[169] Interview with Rob Hallam, ArmorGroup, Kabul, 17 May 2009.

[170] Email from Hizbullah Abid, Program Manager, HDI, 3 June 2009.

[171] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 84.

[172] Statement of Afghanistan, Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 27 November 2008.

[173] Statement of Afghanistan, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, 27 May 2009.

[174] Email from Deputy Programme Director, MACCA, 20 August 2009.

[175] Interview with MACCA, Kabul, 18 May 2009; and see Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 84. Comparable figures for end March 2009 were 81% and 54% respectively. Interview with MACCA, Kabul, 18 May 2009.

[176] Email from Deputy Programme Director, MACCA, 20 August 2009; and see Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 84.

[177] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 90; and email from MACA, 20 April 2008.

[178] MACA, “Fast Facts, Highlights of 2008,” undated.

[179] Interview with Deputy Programme Director, MACCA, in Geneva, 29 May 2009.

[180] Email from MACCA, 30 March 2009.

[181] Ibid.

[182] Ibid.

[183] Interview with Deputy Programme Director, MACCA, in Geneva, 29 May 2009, and email from MACCA, 30 March 2009.

[184] Interview with Deputy Programme Director, MACCA, in Geneva, 29 May 2009.

[185] Ibid; and email from MACCA, 30 March 2009.

[186] Email from MACCA, 30 March 2009; and email from Awlia Mayar, HI, 2 April 2009.

[187] Interview with Deputy Programme Director, MACCA, in Geneva, 29 May 2009.

[188] Email from MACCA, 30 March 2009.

[189] Ibid.

[190] Ibid.

[191] Ibid; interview with Deputy Programme Director, MACCA, in Geneva, 29 May 2009; and email from Awlia Mayar, HI, 2 April 2009.

[192] Interview with Deputy Programme Director, MACCA, in Geneva, 29 May 2009.

[193] Email from MACCA, 30 March 2009.

[194] ICRC, “Afghanistan: ICRC activities from January to December 2008,” 14 January 2009, www.icrc.org; response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire from Mariko Aoki, Project Coordinator and Yama Hakami, Project Assistant, AAR Japan, 15 May 2009; email from Yama Hakami, AAR Japan, 22 June 2009, email from Mutahar Shah Akhgar, Mine Action Advisor, MoE/MACCA, 27 April 2009; email from Dr. Farid Homayoun, Country Director, HALO, 11 April 2009; email from Berit Muhlhausen, Co-Director, MMCC, 23 June 2009; interview with Deputy Programme Director, MACCA, in Geneva, 29 May 2009; email from Sayed Belal Sadat, Mine Action Program Manager, ARCS, 29 June 2009; and email from George Willmer, Acting Program Manager, DDG, 29 June 2009.

[195] Ibid.

[196] Ted Paterson, Faiz Paktian, and William Fryer, “Assessment of the Mine Action Centre for Afghanistan (MACA),” GICHD, Geneva, August 2008.

[197] Paul Davies and Bruce Todd, “Mid Term Evaluation of the Mine Action Programme in Afghanistan – Final Report,” EU, April 2009, p. 62.

[198] See previous editions of Landmine Monitor.

[199] See Landmine Monitor Report 2003, pp. 58, 60.

[200] See Landmine Monitor Report 2006, p. 105.

[201] Ibid, p.107.

[202]See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 97.

[203] Article 7 Report, Form I, 30 April 2005; Article 7 Report, Form I, 1 May 2006; Article 7 Report, Form I, 30 April 2007; Article 7 Report, Form I, 13 May 2008; and Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008), Form I.

[204] Statement of Afghanistan, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 26 May 2009.

[205] Responses to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by DAO, 18 June 2009; and ALSO, 25 June 2009.

[206] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Omara Khan Muneeb, DAO, 18 June 2009; and MoLSAMD Disability Support Unit, “Disability Stakeholders Coordination Group (DSCG) – Meeting Minutes,” Kabul, 21 April 2009.

[207] ICRC, “Physical Rehabilitation Programme: Annual Report 2008,” Geneva, 7 May 2009, p. 34.

[208] UNAMA Human Rights Unit, “Afghanistan Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, 2008,” Kabul, January 2009, p.10; and SCA, “SCA Annual Report 2008 – Rehabilitation of Afghans with Disability (RAD),” Kabul, undated but 2009, p. 3.

[209] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Razi Khan Hamdard, MoPH, 2 April 2009.

[210] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 98.

[211] “Growing number of Afghans lack health care – Ministry,” IRIN (Kabul), 7 April 2009.

[212] IRIN, “Over 360,000 affected by reduced health services,” IRIN (Kabul), 14 May 2008; and Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 97.

[213] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Razi Khan Hamdard, MoPH, 2 April 2009.

[214] ICRC, “Physical Rehabilitation Programme: Annual Report 2008,” Geneva, 7 May 2009, p. 34.

[215] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Razi Khan Hamdard, MoPH, 2 April 2009; and ICRC, “Physical Rehabilitation Programme: Annual Report 2008,” Geneva, 7 May 2008, p. 34.

[216] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Razi Khan Hamdard, MoPH, 2 April 2009.

[217] Statement by Suraya Paikan, MoLSAMD, Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 27 November 2008.

[218] SCA, “SCA Annual Report 2008 – Rehabilitation of Afghans with Disability (RAD),” Kabul, undated but 2009, p. 4.

[219] MoLSAMD, “Afghanistan National Disability Action Plan 2008–2011,” Kabul, May 2008, p. 19.

[220] Ibid; and Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 99.

[221] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Fiona Gall and Amin Qanet, SCA, 4 May 2009.

[222] Statement of Afghanistan, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 26 May 2009; and statement by Suraya Paikan, MoLSAMD, Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 27 November 2008.

[223] Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, “Annual Report 2008,” Kabul, undated but 2009, p. 39.

[224] Statement by Suraya Paikan, MoLSAMD, Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 27 November 2008.

[225] Responses to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by SCA, 4 May 2009; DAO, 18 June 2009; ALSO, 25 June 2009; and Maky Siaswash, Director, KOO, Kabul, 22 June 2009.

[226] UN, “Final Report, First Review Conference,” Nairobi, 29 November–3 December 2004, APLC/CONF/2004/5, 9 February 2005, p. 3.

[227] Statement of Afghanistan, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 26 May 2009.

[228] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, pp. 99–100. Email from Sheree Bailey, Victim Assistance Specialist, Implementation Support Unit, GICHD, 21 August 2009.

[229] Government of Afghanistan, “Report of Second National Victim Assistance/Disability Workshop,” Kabul,
23–25 October 2007, p. 9.

[230] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, pp. 99–100.

[231] Statement of Afghanistan, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 26 May 2009.

[232] Co-Chairs of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, “Status of Victim Assistance in the Context of the AP Mine Ban Convention in the 26 Relevant States Parties 2005–2008,” Geneva, 28 November 2008, p. 8.

[233] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACCA, 29 March 2009.

[234] MoLSAMD Disability Support Unit, “Minutes of the DCG meeting,” Kabul, 8 October 2008.

[235] Responses to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by ICRC, 11 April 2009; SCA, 4 May 2009; KOO, 22 June 2009; and DAO, 18 June 2009. See also Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 100.

[236] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Razi Khan Hamdard, MoPH, 2 April 2009; SCA, “SCA Annual Report 2008 – Rehabilitation of Afghans with Disability (RAD),” Kabul, undated but 2009, p. 6; and ICRC, “Physical Rehabilitation Programme: Annual Report 2008,” Geneva, 7 May 2009, p. 34.

[237] Email from Krisztina Huszti Orban, Legal Attaché, Arms Unit, Legal Division, ICRC, 21 August 2009.

[238] Statement by Suraya Paikan, MoLSAMD, Ninth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 27 November 2008.

[239] See Landmine Monitor Report 2008, p. 101.

[240] Co-Chairs of the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, “Status of Victim Assistance in the Context of the AP Mine Ban Convention in the 26 Relevant States Parties 2005–2008,” Geneva, 28 November 2008, p. 8.

[241] Ibid.

[242] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACCA , 29 March 2009.

[243] Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008), Form J.

[244] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Razi Khan Hamdard, MoPH, 2 April 2009.

[245] Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008), Form J.

[246] Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, “Annual Report 2008,” Kabul, undated but 2009, pp. 39–40.

[247] ALSO, “Narrative Report 10 October 2008–10 January 2009,” Kabul, January 2009; ALSO, “Summary on activities in Oslo process,” Kabul, December 2008; ALSO “Monthly Statistical Report 2008–2009,” April 2009; and response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by ALSO, 23 May 2008.

[248] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Omara Khan Muneeb, DAO, 18 June 2009.

[249] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Saifuddin Nezami, Director, CCD, 6 May 2009; CCD, “Afghanistan Compact, Matrix for Capturing Progress of Progress Indicators,” undated but 2009.

[250] Email from AABRAR Jalalabad office, 23 June 2009.

[251] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Maky Siaswash, KOO, 22 June 2009; and KOO, “Afghanistan Compact, Matrix for Capturing Progress of Progress Indicators,” undated but 2009.

[252] Jamil Danish, “UNAMA helps to promote leading orthopeadic centre in Kabul,” UNAMA (Kabul), 23 February 2009, p. 3.

[253] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by PTI, 3 May 2009; and IAM, “Afghanistan Compact, Matrix for Capturing Progress of Progress Indicators,” undated but 2009.

[254] In 2007, 181,852 people received services but the decrease is solely due to fewer awareness raising activities.

[255] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Fiona Gall and Amin Qanet, SCA, 4 May 2009; SCA, “SCA Annual Report 2008 – Rehabilitation of Afghans with Disability (RAD),” Kabul, undated but 2009, pp. 1–8; and SCA, “Afghanistan Compact, Matrix for Capturing Progress of Progress Indicators,” undated but 2009.

[256] ICRC, “Annual Report 2008,” Geneva, 27 May 2009, p. 189.

[257] Email from Krisztina Huszti Orban, ICRC, 21 August 2009.

[258] ICRC, “Physical Rehabilitation Programme: Annual Report 2008,” Geneva, 7 May 2009, p. 34; and ICRC, “Special Report Mine Action 2008,” Geneva, April 2009, p. 26.

[259] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by Alberto Cairo, ICRC, 11 April 2009.

[260] Email from Sami ul Haq Sami, Advocacy and Awareness Coordinator, HI, 25 August 2009.

[261] See paragraphs on relevant organizations above.

[262] Statement of Afghanistan, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, May 2009.

[263] Response to Landmine Monitor questionnaire by MACA, 23 April 2008.

[264] Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2008), Form A.

[265] MAPA, “Integrated Operational Plan: 31 April 2009–31 March 2010,” 20 October 2008, p. 38.

[266] Statement of Afghanistan, Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Risk Education and Mine Action Technologies, Geneva, May 2009.

[267] “Funding short for Afghan demining effort”, UPI, 13 January 2009, www.upi.com.

[268] “Countdown to mine awareness day in Afghanistan,” UNAMA, 28 March 2009, www.reliefweb.int.

[269] Belgium Article 7 Report, Form J, 30 April 2009; and Spain Article 7 Report, Form J, 30 April 2009.

[270] Emails from Kim Henrie-Lafontaine, Second Secretary, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada,
6 June 2009 and 19 June 2009; “To Walk the Earth in Safety 2009,” US Department of State, Washington, DC, July 2009; email from Hayashi Akihito, Japan Campaign to Ban Landmines (JCBL), 4 June 2009, with translated information received by JCBL from the Humanitarian Assistance Division, Multilateral Cooperation Department, and Conventional Arms Division, Non-proliferation and Science Department; email from Amy White, Deputy Program Manager, Conflict, Humanitarian and Security Department, DfID, 17 March 2009; Germany Article 7 Report, Form J, 27 April 2009; email from Dimitri Fenger, Humanitarian Aid Section, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 8 June 2009; email from Manfredo Capozza, Humanitarian Demining Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2 March 2009; email from Caroline Mulas, Mine Action Coordinator, AUSAID,
22 June 2009; Spain Article 7 Report, Form J, 30 April 2009; email from Mads Hove, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2 March 2009; email from Sirpa Loikkanen, Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 27 February 2009; email from Ingunn Vatne, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 4 June 2009; Belgium Article 7 Report, Form J, 30 April 2009; email from Amb. Lars-Erik Wingren, Department for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 31 March 2009; email from David Keating, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, Department of Foreign Affairs, 12 March 2009; email from Daniel Gengler, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 5 March 2009; email from Rémy Friedmann, Political Division IV, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 11 March 2009; email from Stacy Bernard Davis, Public Engagement, Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement, US Department of State,
21 August 2009; and email from Deputy Programme Director, MACCA, 20 August 2009.

[271] New Zealand Article 7 Report, Form J, 30 April 2009.

[272] Statement of the European Commission, Standing Committee on the General Status and Operation of the Convention, Geneva, 29 May 2009.

[273] Email from Mari Cruz Cristóbal, EC, 12 June 2009.

[274] Email from Tom Dibb, HALO, 18 August 2009. HALO reported $202,000 from the Czech Republic for mine clearance, and unspecified amounts from the other donors. HALO also reported receiving $50,000 from AAR Japan for battle area clearance in 2008.