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August 2023 -March 2024


  • Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) teams funded by UNMAS have reached 44,710 beneficiaries (11,662 girls, 10,478 boys, 11,308 women and 11,262 men) in Afar and Tigray. Explosive Hazard Awareness Training was provided to 1,172 humanitarian personnel (387 female, 785 male) from various UN agencies, funds and programmes, as well as from (I)NGOs, contributing to increased safety and security for aid workers.


  • UNMAS, through its national Implementing Partner, conducted Training of Trainers (TOT) to a total of 331 facilitators in Afar and Tigray. The trained community focal points now have the tools and capacity to deliver lifesaving explosive ordnance risk education sessions to community members.


  • UNMAS technical personnel deployed in Tigray and Afar regions assessed 143 areas reported by humanitarian partners to have potential Explosive Ordnance (EO) contamination, and marked 775 items of Explosive Ordnance, including among other, 235 projectiles, 53 rockets, 280 mortars, 172 fuses, 17 air dropped bombs, 4 grenades, 3 unknown objects, 2 anti-personnel mines, 8 Small Arms Ammunition (SAA) and 1 fragmentation missile. 427 items have been removed for disposal, while 348 items were marked and reported.




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[1].


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.


Since January 2023, 1,500 (1,014 male and 486 female) victims of Explosive Ordnance have been reported in Northern Ethiopia, although not all cases have been verified. It is believed that many other accidents go unreported. Initial analysis shows that children make more than 25% of all casualties known. Mandated to support the humanitarian response in Northern Ethiopia, UNMAS monthly facilitates the Mine Action Area of Responsibility (MA-AoR) since November 2023, with sub-cluster meetings held in Shire, in Mekelle and in Semera. In addition, in support of the safe and secure humanitarian aid delivery, UNMAS also conducts Explosive Ordnance Threat assessments in the Afar 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.


[1] 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 shelters for over 21,500 IDPS.


The rapid assessments by UNMAS  have also enabled the resumption of humanitarian aid operations, such as food distribution, from NGO partners. Since their deployment in July 2023, the UNMAS technical teams in Tigray and Afar assessed 143 areas reported by humanitarian partners with potential Explosive Ordnance (EO) contamination, and marked 775 EO items. UNMAS aims to deploy teams to priority areas to conduct a more comprehensive study on the nature and location of explosive ordnance through non-technical survey, further enabling the safe delivery of humanitarian aid, the safe return of IDPs and refugees to their community of origin and the prioritization of future clearance efforts.

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 gender, age, and diversity-tailored EORE to at-risk populations, with a comprehensive approach targeting both local communities, as well as internally displaced people and returnees, in Northern Ethiopia, including through training of community focal points.

Humanitarian Coordination

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.

Technical Assistance & Capacity Development

UNMAS seeks to provide technical assistance to the Ethiopia Mine Action Office (EMAO) 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. In 2023 UNMAS received generous contributions from the Governments of Canada and Japan, while the Governments of Denmark and Japan confirmed additional funding for 2024.

UNMAS Ethiopia currently seeks USD 4.4 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 to manage and regulate the mine action sector in Ethiopia throughout 2024.


Data as of April 2024