United Kingdom

Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 15 December 2023

In 2022, the United Kingdom (UK) contributed almost £20 million (US$24.7 million) in mine action funding to 20 countries (including 13 States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty), one other area, and to regional activities.[1] In United States (US) dollar terms, this represented a 35% decrease from its 2021 contribution, which totaled $38.2 million.

Eight countries each received more than $1 million in 2022—Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Libya, Somalia, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe. These countries received a combined total of $18 million, representing 74% of the UK’s total mine action funding in 2022. Afghanistan alone received more than $6 million.

As in previous years, the UK allocated most of its mine action support to clearance and risk education activities.

Contributions by recipient: 2022[2]

Recipient

Sector

Amount (£)

Amount (US$)

Afghanistan

Clearance, capacity-building, risk education

5,000,000

6,185,500

Zimbabwe

Clearance, risk education

2,234,323

2,764,081

Cambodia

Clearance, capacity-building, risk education

1,796,397

2,222,323

Lao PDR

Clearance, capacity-building, risk education

1,332,374

1,648,280

Somalia

Clearance, risk education

1,275,448

1,577,857

Ukraine

Clearance, risk education

1,124,336

1,390,916

Libya

Clearance, risk education

1,064,853

1,317,330

Angola

Clearance, capacity-building, risk education

1,010,854

1,250,527

Pakistan

Risk education

696,303

861,396

Sri Lanka

Clearance

635,832

786,588

East Africa region

Capacity-building

616,106

762,185

Myanmar

Risk education

606,666

750,507

South Sudan

Clearance, capacity-building, risk education

570,186

705,377

Sudan

Clearance, capacity-building, risk education

500,000

618,550

Cameroon

Capacity-building

435,000

538,139

Armenia and Azerbaijan

Risk education

400,000

494,840

Vietnam

Clearance, capacity-building, risk education

351,947

435,394

Abkhazia

Clearance, risk education

220,975

273,369

Yemen

Clearance

77,000

95,257

Chad

Capacity-building

24,600

30,433

Nigeria

Capacity-building

15,300

18,928

Total

 -

19,988,500

24,727,777

 

Mine action assistance approach

In 2013, the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) published its mine action policy, which aimed to support clearance and risk reduction efforts, strengthen and facilitate greater national ownership of mine action programs, and respond rapidly to mine action needs in humanitarian crises.[3] The UK considered that victim assistance “is best provided through broader social and economic development programmes in affected countries, rather than through targeting particular groups.” [4] The UK government does not support programs that specifically target survivors of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW).  

The UK’s mine action funding is provided by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), through the Global Mine Action Programme (GMAP) and the government’s Conflict, Security and Stability Fund (CSSF).

The GMAP has been implemented in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Iraq, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Vietnam, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

Phases 1 and 2 of GMAP were launched in 2014 and 2018 respectively, with each phase running for four years. Phase 3 began in March 2022. In line with the 2013 policy, the GMAP has three major components: clearance, risk education, and capacity-building for national and regional mine action authorities.[5]

Previously, in April 2017, the UK announced a £100 million ($126 million) aid package to support mine clearance and risk education projects over the next three years.[6] This funding focused on countries “where the greatest numbers of people continue to suffer from landmine contamination…and where continued insecurity and instability pose an ongoing threat to UK interests.”

In November 2020, the UK government announced that it would cut its foreign aid budget from 0.7% to 0.5% of its national income due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.[7] This reduction was endorsed by the UK parliament in July 2021.[8] In October 2021, media reports estimated that as a result of these cuts, UK funding for mine clearance in 2022–2024 could be reduced by at least 75%, from approximately £100 million ($137 million) over the three-year period to £25 million ($34 million).[9]

Five-year support to mine action

In 2018–2022, the UK’s cumulative contribution to mine action totaled £172.5 million (around $225 million). In comparison, during the previous five-year period from 2013–2017, the UK’s support to mine action amounted to £71.8 million (around $103 million).

Summary of contributions: 2018–2022[10]

Year

Amount (£)

Amount (US$)

% change from previous year (US$)

2022

19,988,500

24,727,777

-35

2021

27,720,410

38,154,373

+18

2020

25,168,363

32,288,494

-55

2019

56,164,195

71,710,444

+23

2018

43,494,399

58,121,566

+117

Total

172,535,867

225,002,654

N/A

                                      Note: N/A=not applicable.

 


[1] Average exchange rate for 2022: £1=US$1.2371. United States (US) Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 9 January 2023.

[2] UK Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2022), Form J. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.

[4] Ibid, p. 3.

[6] DfID press release, “UK triples support for action against landmines on 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s iconic Angola visit,” 4 April 2017. Average exchange rate for April 2017: £1=US$1.2639. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Monthly),” 3 July 2017.

[8] William Worley and Rob Merrick, “Tracking the UK’s controversial aid cuts,” Devex, updated 15 September 2023.

[9] Larisa Brown, “Foreign Office cuts cash for mine clearing by 75%,” The Times, 7 October 2021; and Andrew Mitchell, “Cutting aid for landmine clearance is crazy,” The Telegraph, 10 October 2021. Average exchange rate for September 2021: £1=US$1.3732. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Monthly),” 1 October 2021.

[10] See previous Support for Mine Action country profiles. ICBL-CMC, “Country Profiles: UK,” undated.