- Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) has been provided to humanitarian personnel from 28 organizations, and over 50,000 at-risk populations have been reached in Northern Ethiopia. In addition, UNMAS Implementing Partner conducted a Training of Trainers (TOT) for 857 focal persons including 123 volunteers of a civil society organization.
- Explosive ordnance threat assessments were conducted in 32 locations in Afar, Amhara and Tigray regions since April 2022 to assess the impact of contamination on conflict-affected communities and support the safe delivery of humanitarian aid.
- A 500,000 square meter area has been assessed and released to construct shelter for over 21,500 IDPs through UNMAS site assessment and facilitation work with local authorities in North wollo, Amhara region.
Ethiopia has experienced a series of internal and international armed conflicts throughout its history, leaving a legacy of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) scattered throughout the country. According to the latest transparency report that Ethiopia submitted under the Mine Ban Convention, the remaining unaddressed contamination totals 726 square kilometers.
The outbreak of conflict in November 2020 between the central government and the regional authorities of the Tigray region, which has spilled over into the neighboring Afar and Amhara regions in 2021, has added new explosive ordnance contamination that poses an immediate threat to life and livelihoods. Over 280 casualties have been reported in Northern Ethiopia since the beginning of the conflict, although not all cases have been verified - but it is also believed that many other accidents go unreported. Initial analysis shows that children make an alarming majority of casualties (57%).
Mandated to support the humanitarian response in Northern Ethiopia, UNMAS facilitated the activation of the Mine Action Area of Responsibility (MA-AoR) in August 2021 and, in April 2022, started the delivery of explosive ordnance risk education to local populations in the Afar and Amhara regions affected by the conflict.
In addition, in support of the safe and secure humanitarian aid delivery, UNMAS is conducting Explosive Ordnance Threat Assessment in the Afar, Amhara and Tigray regions. In absence of an established mine action sector in Ethiopia, UNMAS is the mandated entity to support the Ethiopian government with capacity development intervention for addressing the explosive ordnance contamination issue.
 98% of suspected hazardous areas and 2% of confirmed hazardous areas, hence a vast extent of land could be released through non-technical survey.
Explosive Ordnance Threat Assessment
UNMAS personnel have deployed to Tigray, Afar and Amhara regions to conduct explosive risk assessments on humanitarian partners’ areas of intervention. Upon the request of the Shelter and Camp Management and Coordination Clusters, UNMAS facilitated the assessment and release of a 500,000 m2 area as free of explosive threat, allowing for the construction of shelter for over 21,500 IDPS. UNMAS’s rapid assessments have also enabled the resumption of humanitarian aid operations, such as food distribution, from NGO partners.
Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE)
UNMAS is providing EORE to humanitarian personnel to support the safe delivery of humanitarian aid. Through local implementing partners, UNMAS also provides EORE to at-risk populations in Northern Ethiopia - including to internally displaced people, returnees and local communities - with risk education materials and methodologies in accordance with Age, Gender and Diversity.
UNMAS leads the Mine Action Area of Responsibility of the humanitarian architecture, ensuring mine action partners coordinate needs assessments and operations, share analyses, establish links with other key sectors such as Child Protection, and jointly advocate for increased access to resources.
Explosive Risk Reduction
UNMAS teams will be deployed to priority areas identified through the threat assessment to conduct a more comprehensive study on the nature and location of ERW through non-technical survey, to further enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid and the safe return of IDPs and refugees to their community of Origin.
Technical Assistance & Capacity Development
UNMAS seeks to provide technical assistance to the Ethiopia Mine Action Office to develop its quality management, accreditation and data management capability - including to collect and analyze data through Age, Gender and Diversity lens - as well as its operational capacity for explosive hazards survey.
UNMAS is grateful for the direct contribution of the donors to the Ethiopia Operation. UNMAS has received generous contributions from the Government of Japan and UN-OCHA, through the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund, supporting the programme’s current activities in its mobilization phase until September 2022. UNMAS Ethiopia currently seeks USD 2.5 million to scale up its humanitarian mine action intervention in Northern Ethiopia and provide the necessary technical assistance and capacity development intervention for the Ethiopia Mine Action Office.
Data as of September 2022