Despite the impact of COVID-19 in Yemen, UNDP staff have starting to build the local capacity of the Yemen Mine Action Coordination Centre (YMACC) in Aden. In partnership and under the guidance of the director of the Yemeni Executive Mine Action Centre (YEMAC), 10 staff (two of whom are women) have undertaken the first week of training in Aden.

Although several months will be needed to fully complete the development of YMACC – as outlined by International Mine Action Standards – the training is expected to help develop the skills of the YMACC staff to co-ordinate a variety of mine action actors. Topics include information management, issuing tasking orders, developing strategies and plans and implementing quality management protocols to ensure a high standard of work. And due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the original plan has been adapted with social distancing, personal protective equipment (PPE) being worn, and greater use of on-line resources being utilised to deliver high quality training.

To help ensure a safer Yemen, YMACC will play a vital role as Yemen addresses the impacts of mines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW), including Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). YMACC will form the vital link between the mine action sector and the wider humanitarian and developmental community, as well as local authorities to ensure the most efficient and effective mine action response for the Yemeni people.

It is also expected that YMACC will assume the co-ordination function of the mine action sector in the Internationally Recognized Government-controlled areas and will coordinate all mine action operators including international non-governmental organizations, commercial companies and government institutions in addressing the huge impact of mines and ERW in Yemen. The Director of YEMAC, Mr. Ameen Al Oqaili, indicates that it “will contribute and assist in the coordination process and unify the efforts related to mine action activities with all partners in this major humanitarian work”.

To help launch YMACC in April 2020, UNDP provided offices and hardware. UNDP is also developing and implementing the training syllabus based upon recognised international norms and in discussion with senior managers from YEMAC to ensure the unique issues of Yemen are taken into account when establishing the co-ordination systems. Through its expert staff, as well providing logistics support to the YMACC, UNDP will continue to support the important demining and implementation work of the YEMAC

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