With U.S. conventional weapons destruction (CWD) assistance in 2021, South and Central Asian countries worked to clear landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) contamination, and secure weapons and ammunition stockpiles. Humanitarian mine action operations in Afghanistan continue despite the August 2021 takeover of the country by the Taliban. Afghanistan has one of the most capable mine action programs in the world with significant capacity and decades of experience, and mine and unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance operations are ongoing amid continuing uncertainty over the country’s future. Neighboring Tajikistan is also a regional leader in landmine clearance and explosive hazard remediation. It is successfully managing its aging munitions stockpiles and clearing explosive hazards along its borders and within the central Rasht Valley region. Kyrgyzstan faces substantial risk from poorly-secured, deteriorating weapons and ammunition stockpiles that pose a threat to local populations and regional security. Farther south, Sri Lanka continues to deal with extensive landmine, improvised explosive device (IED), and UXO contamination that endangers civilians, inhibits livelihoods, and impedes the resettlement of communities.
Since 1993, the U.S. CWD program has invested more than $699 million in South and Central Asia to secure weapons and ammunition stockpiles, release land to safe and productive use, promote peace and security, and strengthen economic ties in the region, all of which helps to advance U.S. regional and global security priorities.
Through U.S. support, our implementing partners accomplished the following in 2021:
- 19,917,918 square meters (4,922 acres) of land released for safe and productive use in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka
- 2,846 individuals received prosthetics and orthotics in Afghanistan
- 53,539 pieces of UXO or abandoned explosive ordnance were destroyed in Afghanistan
- 28,157 individuals received explosive ordnance risk education in Afghanistan
- 14,101 pieces of small arms ammunition were destroyed in Afghanistan
- 6,564 pieces of stockpiled munitions were destroyed in Tajikistan
- 4,695 anti-personnel landmines were destroyed in Afghanistan and Tajikistan
- 1,682 anti-tank mines were destroyed in Afghanistan and Tajikistan
- 361 metric tons of large-caliber ammunition were demilitarized in Kyrgyzstan
The United States is the world’s single largest financial supporter of efforts to clear landmines and explosive weapons of war. Since 1993, the United States has invested more than $4.2 billion in more than 100 countries around the world to reduce the harmful worldwide effects of at-risk, illicitly proliferated, and indiscriminately used conventional weapons of war. For more information on U.S. humanitarian demining and CWD programs, see the latest edition of our annual report, To Walk the Earth in Safety.
For additional information or to request a printed copy of To Walk the Earth in Safety, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow us on Twitter @StateDeptPM. The report is also available on the Department of State website at https://www.state.gov/to-walk-the-earth-in-safety/.