Mr Roman Turšič
T: +386 1 4796 594
Afghanistan remains one of the most contaminated countries by mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) in the world, mainly as a result of the 1992–1996 internal armed conflict, the decade-long war of resistance that followed the Soviet invasion of 1979, and the United States led coalition’s intervention in late 2001, which added considerable quantities of unexploded ordnance (UXO). In addition to this, escalating conflict in the past years has resulted in additional ERW contamination, including remotely detonated and victim-activated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or booby-traps.
While 81 % of the minefields have been cleared, the 19 % of the remaining minefields still make Afghanistan one of the most landmine and ERW impacted countries in the world. Despite significant achievements, an average of 39 civilians were injured or killed per month in 2013 as compared to 30 per month in the previous year. Just fewer than 1 million Afghans (roughly 3 % of the total population) still live within 500 sq. meters of landmine contaminated areas while 1,578 communities remain affected in 246 districts across the country. Over 131 sq. kilometers of minefields have adverse impact on national development infrastructure projects (highway and road networks, airports, mines, transmission lines, new settlements, etc.), delaying their delivery if the minefields are not removed.
What we do
The exposure within Afghanistan, to explosive hazards is acknowledged. This continued threat fosters various negative implications, from safety, security, humanitarian development and impacts on confidence and security building processes.
Since 2009 ITF is implementing an OSCE initiated effort and a system of mechanism to support the participating States in Central Asia and Afghanistan, in addressing the concerns and challenges stemming from Explosive Hazards (EH) through technical cooperation in order to foster dialogue and strengthen cooperation. The ITF has been selected as implementing partner of the OSCE on this program, based on the successful practice and experience in developing and applying regional cooperation measures.
The project aims to establish a formal regional cooperation and coordination mechanism. Afghanistan has expressed the preparedness to work towards the establishment of such cooperation mechanism on the regional conference in Dushanbe (16-18 November 2009).
ITF has provided coordination activities related to the delivery of quality assurance in the Afghanistan regions through salary payments for 11 Operational Assistants (OPS) as well as support of Department of Mine Clearance (DMC) within Afghanistan National Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA).