Ms Nataša Uršič
T: +386 1 479 65 71
Armenia is affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), primarily as a result of the armed conflict with Azerbaijan in 1988–1994. More than 320 square kilometres of land is still estimated to be contaminated by mines and ERW.
A total number of mine victims in Armenia is estimated to be at least 582 mine persons according to the accounts of Armenian National Committee of International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). The combined number of persons affected by mine accidents reaches a significantly higher figure of 2.000-2.500.
What we do
ITF is present in Armenia from 2003. Through ITF, demining machine ML–1 was donated to the Armenian Armed Forces, who conducted humanitarian mine clearance activities at that time. In addition, mine detection dogs were also donated in order to support demining structure.
Mine clearance experts attended different trainings which were organized regionally for Caucasus region, such as two Middle management training courses (MMTC) in Tbilisi, Georgia (2004–2005 and in 2009). There were certain trainings organized also in mine victim assistance such as 14 days training course for 2 professionals from Yerevan at the University Rehabilitation Institute of Republic of Slovenia in May 2008. Armenian representatives also attended regional workshop “Mine action as confidence building measure”, which was held in Tbilisi, Georgia in October 2005.
In January 2010, ITF initiated a two and a half year pilot project »Socio-Economic Reintegration Programme for Mine Victims in South Caucasus - Phase I«, supported by Austrian Development Agency. The programme strived to enable mine victims and their families, as a vulnerable and marginalized group, to earn their livelihoods, to improve their standard of living and become participatory members of their communities. Due to success of the pilot phase a three year regional project “Socio-economic reintegration of mine victims in South Caucasus-Phase II” started in November 2012 and was finished in October 2015. The project was supported by Austrian Development Agency and South Korea.
In the frame of the project out of 405 outreached mine victims in Armenia, 81 beneficiaries were involved in small business training and 45 were referred to State Employment Service Agency (SEA) for in depth job counseling. 30 beneficiaries are now self-employed through micro loans and 47 beneficiaries are employed through project services and referrals. In addition referrals of project beneficiaries to existing services and programs of governmental and non-governmental organizations were continuously implemented during the project. 30 loans were disbursed to 11 mine victims, 14 mine victim family members and 5 local entrepreneurs employing a mine victim (19 male and 11 female). The project was implemented in local partnership with International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Armenia as the leading local partner.
On 21 October 2015, ITF signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) and Mine Detection Dog Centre in Bosnia and Herzegovina (MDDC) to execute a Mine Detection Dog Partnership Program in Armenia. The project will last until 15 December 2016. The project objective is to deliver 6 highly trained MDDs to Armenia, accompanied by two MDDC trainers who will lead a 6 month dog –handler integration course with CHDE/PKEB dog handlers, backup dog handlers, and MDD support staff.