Press Release on the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action
Kabul – Afghanistan, 4 April 2020
The unprecedented increase in the number of civilian casualties as a result of victim-operated IEDs is a cause for
concern. Approximately 120 Afghan civilians lose their lives and limbs as a result of landmines and explosive
remnants of war (ERW) including victim-operated IEDs. Data suggests that more than 60% of these casualties
are caused by victim-operated IEDs.
In Afghanistan and many other countries around the world, particularly those affected by landmines, 4th of April
is observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. But this year the looming
health crisis posed by COVID-19 did not allow the Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan (MAPA) to celebrate
the Mine Action Day.
Despite the tremendous challenges faced by the programme, such as lack of access to some areas in the country
as well as funding shortfall, the MAPA was able clear 56 square kilometers of contaminated land in the last 11
months. The increasing number of civilian casualties coupled with the country’s treaty obligation towards the
international community highlights the need for the continuation of this humanitarian programme which is
almost entirely reliant on international donors. The Directorate of Mine of Mine Action Coordination (DMAC) of
the State Ministry for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs is grateful for the continued support from
our donors and implementing partners without whom a mine-free Afghanistan may not be possible.
Find more here: Press Release