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Mine action in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover: Mine Action Imperatives in 2021 and Beyond

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The HALO Trust and other Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan (MAPA) partners have continued their work to address explosive ordnance in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover of the country in August, 2021. This work is taking place during a time of uncertainty in Afghanistan, but also at a time when there are: 1) amplified, urgent humanitarian needs; as well as 2) an opportunity for increasing mine action access and impact.

Mine action is also taking place in a context where aid policy-makers are aiming to preclude emergencies from happening in the first place, rather than constantly responding to them. Donors, policy-makers, and mine action stakeholders can increase principled support to humanitarian mine action. By doing so collectively, they can address pressing mine action imperatives and improve people’s lives in Afghanistan, as well as across conflict and post-conflict settings globally.

Policy Brief Summary

Samuel Hall conducted empirical field research on mine action in Afghanistan in June 2021, two months before the Taliban took over the country. The research involved primary data collection in two rural villages, in order to explore changes at the community level that occurred subsequent to HALO Trust landmine clearance. In addition to this, Samuel Hall has conducted four prior studies and evaluations on mine action in Afghanistan from 2019-2021. The policy brief is an outcome of this combined research, outlining:

  1. The changed political context but enduring humanitarian needs in Afghanistan

  2. Mine action in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover: Humanitarian action, displacement, & IEDs

  3. Policy implications and recommendations regarding principled mine action support in Afghanistan and globally