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Ethiopia

IMPACT

 

In 2023 (January-December 2023)

 

  • Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) teams funded by UNMAS have reached 27,871 beneficiaries (6,597 girls, 6,103 boys, 7,128 women and 8,043 men) in Afar and Tigray. Explosive Hazard Awareness Training has been provided to 626 humanitarian personnel (218 female, 408 male) from UN agencies, funds and programmes, as well as from NGOs, contributing to increased safety and security for aid workers.

 

  • UNMAS, through its national implementing partner, conducted a Training of Trainers (TOT) to a total of 94 facilitators in Afar and Tigray. Trained community focal points have now the tools and capacity to delivery lifesaving explosive ordnance risk education sessions to their community members.

 

  • UNMAS technical personnel, deployed in Tigray and Afar regions have assessed 48 areas reported by humanitarian partners with potential Explosive Ordnance (EO) contamination, and marked have marked 272 items of Explosive Ordnance and 13 Small Arms Ammunition (SAA). 141 of the EO items that have been deemed safe to move have been moved and handed over to authorities.

 

ABOUT

 

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.

 

1187 (625 Tigray, 300 Afar, and 262 Amhara) 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 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 the 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.

 

CURRENT ACTIVITIES

 

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 team in Tigray assessed 31 areas reported by humanitarian partners with potential Explosive Ordnance (EO) contamination and marked 129 EO items.

 

UNMAS aims to deploy team to priority areas identified through the threat assessment to conduct a more comprehensive study on the nature and location of explosive ordnance through a non-technical survey, to further enable the safe delivery of humanitarian aid, the safe return of IDPs and refugees to their community of origin and 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.

FUNDING

 

UNMAS is grateful for the direct contribution of the donors to the Ethiopia Operation. In 2023 UNMAS has received generous contributions from the Governments of Canada and Japan. 

 

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 January 2024