Portfolio of Mine Action Projects: $589 million required in 2010 to address landmines, explosive remnants of war in 27 countries, territories or missions

from UN Mine Action Service
Published on 30 Nov 2009 View Original
NEW YORK, November 30, 2009-Mine action initiatives in 27 countries, territories or peacekeeping missions will cost $589 million in 2010, according to the 13th edition of the annual Portfolio of Mine Action Projects, released by the United Nations today.

The portfolio is an annual analysis of the impact of landmines and explosive remnants of war in countries or territories with mine action programs. The portfolio also provides proposals for mine action projects and details their costs. Countries profiled in the 2010 edition of the portfolio have so far secured only about 5 percent of the total funding needed for the coming year, leaving a funding gap of $565 million.

"Remarkable progress has been made in eliminating the threat of landmines and explosive remnants of war," says Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy. "I wish all involved in this noble endeavor will sustain their commitment to end the suffering caused by landmines and explosive remnants of war."

Le Roy chairs a group of senior representatives of the 14 United Nations departments, programs, agencies and funds that are involved in mine action.

About 70 countries are affected by landmines or explosive remnants of war, which together claimed nearly 5,200 casualties around the world last year. Landmines and explosive remnants of war also take a heavy toll on people's livelihoods, countries' economic and social development, and international peace-building efforts. United Nations support ranges from building capacities of national mine action institutions, to backstopping humanitarian relief initiatives, and ensuring the safe deployment of peacekeepers and United Nations political missions.

The largest funding gaps in 2010 are in Afghanistan ($244 million) and Sudan ($86 million). "Full donor support for these programs will contribute to ongoing efforts to consolidate peace initiatives and facilitate post-conflict reconstruction," Mr. Maxwell Kerley, the Director of the United Nations Mine Action Service, says.

The release of the portfolio coincides with the Second Review Conference of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention. Many of the projects included in the Portfolio of Mine Action Projects 2010 will help remove and destroy cluster munitions, teach people how to stay out of harm's way, and assist the victims of these devices in countries such as Cambodia, Chad, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Tajikistan, Western Sahara, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

"The urgent and compelling need to protect civilians from landmines and explosive remnants of war is rightly attracting media attention this week and it is important that we continue to act rapidly to reduce new casualties to zero," Kerley says.

The portfolio is published jointly by the United Nations Mine Action Service in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations' Office for Rule of Law and Security Institutions, UNDP and UNICEF. The 2010 edition includes 277 projects covering all five "pillars" of mine action: clearance and marking of hazardous areas, mine risk education, victim assistance, destruction of stockpiled landmines, and advocacy for international agreements related to landmines and explosive remnants of war, including cluster munitions.

Contact: Aaron J. Buckley, UN Mine Action Service, New York, at 212.963.4632, e-mail: buckleya@un.org.