Time to Step Up: Being a survivor is not a choice – Mine Action Portfolio 2019

01 06 2020   smaco   News

Today the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) launched the 2019 Mine Action Portfolio during the 22nd International Meeting of Mine Action National Directors and United Nations Advisers (NDMUN22).

Progress in all pillars of mine action relies upon coherence and coordination for greater impact of action. Matching affected countries’ needs with adequate resources is greatly facilitated by donors prioritizing their support according to actual needs expressed by affected countries.

This portfolio constitutes a solid and UN vetted compilation of requests for assistance put together by affected countries.

The United Nations stresses the integrity of the requests and the importance for donors to use this tool when considering providing funding support to affected states.

The on-line 2019 Portfolio represents 19 countries, 146 projects, with a total cost of $ US 495 million. The highest funding requirements are in the post-conflict zones of Iraq ($ US 265 million 47.9 % of the 2019 Portfolio), Afghanistan ($ US 95 million), and Syria ($ US 50 million). In addition, needs remain in countries which have extensive residual contamination, such as Cambodia ($ US 22 million) and the Territory of Western Sahara ($ US 100 million).

The Portfolio tells a story that echoes in the plenary sessions of the NDMUN22, that clearance of landmines and explosive ordnance is advancing rapidly in many regions, but the amount of new contamination is keeping up with these advances. And though lives are being saved, through clearance and risk education, the new contamination is putting even more lives at risk. Broad swaths of territory including urban centres in Iraq, Libya, Syria, where millions of people reside, are heavily contaminated. Risk education for millions of refugees and internally displaced persons is required before people can safely return to their homes.

The NDMUN22 was dedicated to reigniting national and global support for the victims/survivors of explosive ordnance. In recent years there has been a decrease in focus on these civilians who need long-term rehabilitation, medical care and opportunities to participate fully in the social and economic life in their countries. The 2019 Portfolio represents almost $ US 10 million for these needs.

“Being a survivor is not a choice. The girls and boys, men and women, who have lost a limb, suffered traumatic psychological damage, their needs must be addressed. Assistance to victims is a crucial pillar of mine action that has been underscored by Member States time and time again yet remains critically underfunded. The new UN Mine Action Strategy 2019-2023 reflects a consensus that we, all, must do more. This is, for the UN, a commitment to stronger advocacy and a robust coordination role that provides sustainable support to survivors, affected family members and communities, consistent with the global commitment to ‘leave no one behind’ under the Agenda 2030. We must all step up,” explained Ms. Agnès Marcaillou, Director of the United Nations Mine Action Service, when addressing the group of donor Governments that make up the Mine Action Support Group and met on the fringes of the NDMUN22.

For more information about the Portfolio, NDMUN22 or UN mine action, contact Lee Woodyear, Global Communications Officer, woodyear@un.org