2018 To Walk the Earth in Safety: Afghanistan

Report
Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

FUNDING FY15 FY16 FY17 FY93–17 TOTAL
DOS NADR - CWD 22,700 32,066 20,000 392,785
DOS Other 0 0 0 20,000
CDC 0 0 0 1,800
DoD 744 451 134 8,626
USAID 0 0 0 51,447
COUNTRY TOTAL 23,444 32,517 20,134 474,658

Dollars in thousands

AFGHANISTAN

Afghanistan remains an invaluable partner for the United States in the fight against terrorism by working to help eliminate al-Qa’ida and its affiliates. In order to strengthen Afghanistan’s capabilities as a partner and to improve the lives of the Afghan people, the United States provides CWD resources to help Afghanistan clear legacy landmine and UXO contamination left by the 1979 Soviet invasion and internal armed conflict from 1992 to 2001. U.S. CWD programs also work to clear UXO left from more recent conflicts. The extensive use of IEDs by non-state actors (e.g., Taliban, ISIS-Khorasan) accounted for approximately 60 percent of all casualties recorded by the Directorate for Mine Action Coordination (DMAC) from January 2016 to February 2017.

Date: 2018 Description: HALO uses equipment provided by HD R&D to clear a suspected anti-tank minefield near a cricket field in Khost Province, Afghanistan.
© Photo courtesy of HD R&D

As of December 2017, DMAC reported 862 square kilometers (332 square miles) of contamination (suspected and confirmed minefields, battlefields, and high explosive training ranges), directly impacting over six million people—those living within 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) of a known hazard area and indirectly affecting the entire population of Afghanistan.

From 1993 to 2017, the United States provided more than $474.6 million for CWD and demining assistance to Afghanistan. As of December 2017, implementing partners have cleared over 237 square kilometers (91 square miles) of land and removed or destroyed approximately eight million landmines and pieces of UXO, stockpiled munitions, and homemade explosives.

In 2017, the Department of State supported the following implementing partners:

  • Janus and NPA assisted PM/WRA in the monitoring and evaluation of more than 200 mine clearance projects, five Afghan nongovernmental organizations, and two international nongovernmental organizations.
  • Afghan Technical Consultants continued clearance operations in Parwan, Laghman, and Baghlan Provinces on high-priority tasks selected by the DMAC in coordination with Janus.
  • The Agency for Rehabilitation and Energy Conservation in Afghanistan conducted a community-based mine clearance program in high-threat hazard areas in Kunar and Nangarhar Provinces.
  • The Demining Agency for Afghanistan (DAFA) conducted its fifth year of community-based demining projects in the Zharey District of Kandahar Province and the Nahri-Seraj District of Helmand Province. DAFA also began clearance of hazard sites and conducted clearance operations in Nimroz Province on high-priority tasks.
  • FSD continued clearance operations in northern Badakhshan Province on high-priority tasks selected by the DMAC in coordination with Janus.
  • GICHD held its annual Afghanistan Donor and Implementing Partner Workshop to support DMAC. This four-day workshop allowed Afghan nationals and international representatives to discuss program management and donor mobilization.
  • HALO continued weapons and ammunition disposal and assessments throughout central, western, and northern Afghanistan. HALO also deployed eight CWD teams that responded to call-outs to identify, secure, and destroy SA/LW, ammunition, and explosive material. In addition, HALO managed demining projects in Kabul, Nangarhar, Baghlan, Kapisa, and Panjshir Provinces, conducting clearance operations on high-priority tasks selected by DMAC in coordination with Janus.
  • ITF continued its support to DMAC with emphasis on developing host-nation capacity through enhanced Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) training and program management skills development. The ITF also continued to support a medical clinic at the Mine Detection Center (MDC) in Kabul, a collaborative project between the United States and the government of Slovenia.
  • The Mine Clearance Planning Agency continued non-technical surveys in 26 UXO-contaminated districts located within 10 provinces throughout Afghanistan.
  • MDC continued its fourth year of community-based demining in the Garmsir District of Helmand Province and conducted clearance operations in Panjshir Province on high-priority tasks selected by DMAC in coordination with Janus.
  • The Organization for Mine Clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation (OMAR) conducted clearance operations in Takhar and Nangarhar Provinces on high-priority tasks selected by DMAC in coordination with Janus. OMAR also provided explosive risk education to school children in Kabul Province.

With funding from the Department of Defense, HD R&D, in partnership with HALO, continued evaluations of equipment to clear mines and perform technical surveys in villages and agricultural areas throughout Afghanistan. The equipment included the Storm Steep Slope Excavator; Minehound, a hand-held detector for minimum-metal anti-tank mines; Orbit Screen, which sifts mine-contaminated soil; a suite of mine action attachments for excavators and loaders; and the Raptor I & II, armored tractors with the Rotary Mine Comb anti-tank mine clearance attachment. HD R&D technologies have been used in the clearance of 10.2 million square meters (2,520 acres) of land and 22,600 mines and UXO to date.

Date: 2018 Description: With PM/WRA funding, HALO conducts mechanical clearance near communication towers in Samangan Province, Afghanistan. © Photo courtesy of HALO