“Somali Demining Effort Experiences Unprecedented Boost Thanks to a Confounding and Unpredictable Donation from Japan!”

Prepare to be amazed! The Japanese government has bestowed a whopping one million dollars on demining projects in Somalia, a country famously ravaged by conflict. That’s right, folks, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) will be using this generous funding to promote peace and safety in Somalia by mitigating the threat posed by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) to vulnerable populations around the country.

What does this mean, you ask? Well, UNMAS will be delivering explosive ordnance risk education (EORE) and non-technical survey (NTS) activities in Somalia. Cool, huh?

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According to UNMAS Chief of Mine Action in Somalia, Justin Smith, “We are grateful for continued support from the government of Japan to build a peaceful and safe Somalia and protect its population from the dangers of explosive hazards. UNMAS is improving security for the Somali people and co-ordinating humanitarian mine action intervention in the country.”

Want to hear some alarming statistics? Of course you do! Humanitarian mine action partners have recorded a startling 1,179 civilian casualties due to landmines and ERW incidents since 2004. Yikes!

But it’s not just about saving lives. The explosive contamination also impacts the safety of communities and hampers economic development, restricting access to land and resources, and preventing socio-economic activities. So you see, the importance of humanitarian mine action cannot be overstated.

UNMAS will be focusing on the Federal Member State Galmudug, an area with a high level of recorded explosive ordnance contamination and accidents when conducting key project activities. This will allow for effective response to the threats, and NTS will define the full breadth of explosive ordnance contamination in Galmudug while raising community awareness about contamination risks and how to deal with them through EORE sessions.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the Somali government is a State Party to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) since 2012. They were granted a five-year extension of applicable mine clearance obligations to 2027, providing ample time to complete clearance of all known contaminated areas. The humanitarian mine action to promote peace and safety in Somalia project is expected to assist by supporting the Somali Federal Government in building institutional and operational capacity to co-ordinate and oversee implementation of mine action activities and comply with international treaty obligations. Exciting stuff!

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