New York, 15 September 2015. Urgent action is needed to prevent and protect millions of civilians, many of whom are children, from the deadly threat posed by landmines and other explosive remnants of war. A mid-year review of the United Nations Portfolio of Mine Action Projects 2015 has identified a major shortfall of over US $211 million for mine action in support of humanitarian response, recovery and development. The Portfolio has been developed with the aim of matching the needs of affected countries and territories with donor resources. The present requirements for the 24 countries included in the Portfolio total US $303 million, of which only US $91 million has been secured to date.
The country with the largest needs remains Afghanistan, with US $48 million still required for 2015 to meet the commitments of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Treaty; this is followed by Cambodia which has a current shortfall of over US $25 million and where 30% of the victims in 2014 were children. Ten countries have not received any funding to date, including Myanmar, Senegal and Syria. The area of work with the highest needs is the clearance of landmines and other explosive remnants of war, with a current shortfall of US $87 million across all portfolios. Furthermore, countries with ongoing conflicts, such as Yemen, are in particularly urgent need of funding for a rapid and effective mine action response.
The Portfolio is coordinated by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and represents a concerted effort by United Nations entities to analyse and consolidate the mine action requirements of affected countries and territories in support of donor coherence. As of October 2014, 56 states and four other territories were confirmed to be mine-affected, of these 24 submitted portfolios comprising 181 projects addressing national priorities.
However, there is some positive news regarding the progress of mine action activities. In 2013, the Inter-Agency Coordination Group for Mine Action requested UNMAS develop a mechanism to monitor and evaluate implementation of the current strategy. The most recent country level survey showed that, among the countries and territories participating in the M&E Mechanism which had access to the relevant data, 51 per cent of suspected and confirmed hazardous areas have been released to impacted communities. Furthermore, it confirmed the extensive reach of mine/ERW risk education programmes within communities identified as being at acute risk and in the wider population.
Agnès Marcaillou, Director of UNMAS and Chair of the Inter-Agency Coordination Group on Mine Action said, “We are at a grievous point in world history where conflicts are increasing and intensifying, therefore the requirement for humanitarian mine action is all the more urgent. I call on all Member States in a position to do so, to provide the financial support required to prioritise mine action as a pre-requisite for safe and effective humanitarian assistance, post-conflict response and peacebuilding.”
The Portfolio, which can be accessed via this link http://www.mineaction.org/resources/portfolios, incorporates interactive options, such as graphs and charts, demonstrating needs according to country, region and area of work.
For further information, please contact:
Flora Sutherland, UNMAS
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