The Directorate of Mine Action Coordination (DMAC) together with MAPA implementing partners celebrated the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action in Kabul on 4th of April 2021. The event was held in hybrid form (both in-person and virtual) at Kabul Star Hotel from 10:00 – 12:00pm. This high-profile event was attended by high-level representatives from the government authorities, UN and donor embassies in Kabul including H.E. Ghulam Bahuaddin Jialani, State Minister for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs, H.E. Sabri Andar, Deputy Minister of Coordination and Programme, Ministry of Martyrs and Disability Affairs, Mr. Ian McCary, Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) of the Embassy of United States, Mr. Andy McCoubrey, Development Director at Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) and Ms. Fiona Frazier, Head of Human Rights UNAMA/OHCHR.
H.E. Jailani, State Minister for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs thanked all donors and stated that the Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan (MAPA) with financial support from donor countries has cleared around 3200 square kilometers of contaminated land from explosive ordnance. Around 1600 square kilometer area still remains contaminated with EO and need to be cleared in order for the country to become mine-free.
Subsequently, Ms. Fiona Frazier, UNAMA’s Chief of Human Rights in Afghanistan emphasized the need for continuation of explosive ordnance risk education and added that in 2020 more than 80% of civilian victims were children.
Additionally, Mr. Mohammad Shafiq Yosufi, Director of DMAC; delivered a presentation on MAPA achievement and challenges and stated that since the beginning of programme, the MAPA has destroyed 20 million of explosive devices. Mr. Yosufi added that in 2020 alone 1580 civilians were killed or injured as a result of explosion ordnance in the country.
MAPA’s longest-serving deminers were also presented with plaques by the State Minister for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Affairs. The event was well-covered by both national and international media.