UNDP Continues working with National Counterparts supporting Humanitarian Mine Action efforts all over Yemen

Oct 25, 2017

Hundreds of thousands of UXO, AXO and ERWs have been destroyed, more still threaten people's lives

UNDP has actively supported HMA (Humanitarian Mine Action) nationwide in Yemen since the late 1990s working with the national implementers. The aim of UNDP’s intervention has remained constant to reduce or eliminate the impact EO (Explosive Ordnance) has on the civilian population, infrastructure and economy. More recent conflicts have dramatically increased the geographical spread and technical complexity of EO contamination and in many parts of the country the impact is considered very high.

Having an equitable response based on the impact and needs throughout the country, UNDP supports field operations to effect survey and clearance operations conducted by YEMAC (Yemen Executive Mine Action Centre) to isolate and remove the contamination. According to the priorities of work, YEMAC has teams on the ground working in all of the most highly impacted areas of the country. Support by UNDP mainly centres on technical support, training, running costs and allowances for the YEMAC staff but also includes policy advice, the APMBC (Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention) obligations and resource mobilisation.

The current threat is predominantly landmines, improvised landmines, cluster munitions, other UXO (Unexploded Ordnance, both ground and air weapons) and AXO (Abandoned Explosive Ordnance). UNDP has mobilised 800 personnel through YEMAC, approximately 400 in both the north and south. YEMAC has a dire shortage of equipment both to replace old or lost equipment and to modernise the operations. In addition, extensive training is required to improve methodologies to improve the efficiency of operations and increase the impact of the work.

During 2015, as a direct result of conflict there were minimal YEMAC activities. In 2016, UNDP mobilised YEMAC and cleared over 264,000 pieces of EO; and, in the first three-quarters of 2017, YEMAC cleared over 250,000 pieces. Each piece of ordnance denies the population’s access to land and infrastructure with the potential to inflict multiple life altering injuries and deaths.

With a planned budget for 2017 of $6.8M, the current donors are the US, Netherlands, the UK and Germany. The 2018 budget is expected to exceed $9M to include an increase of personnel, purchase of basic equipment and running costs. UNDP policy demands a DIM (Direct Implementation Modality) and as such, allowances to YEMAC personnel and monies transferred for the procurement of services and materiel are made by pre-agreement with YEMAC and direct to those concerned and not channelled through any Yemeni institutions.

Mine Action Chief Technical Advisor

Stephen Bryant, Mine Action Chief Technical Advisor at stephen.bryant@undp.org
Aleksandar Mihajlov,Mine Action Planning and Monitoring Specialist at aleksandar.mihajlov@undp.org

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