EU launches demining project in Azerbaijan 
February 8, 2023

EU launches demining project in Azerbaijan 

On 7 February, the European Union, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Azerbaijani government launched a demining project to help save lives and enable internally displaced persons to return home.

The project for ‘Supporting the Safe Return of Internally Displaced People Through the Capacity Building of the Mine Action Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (ANAMA)’ is funded with €4.25 million from the European Union. 

The project will cover 20 villages and have 33,604 families as direct beneficiaries.

It will enhance the capacity of local institutions and foster a partnership between local and international NGOs. It will also strengthen ANAMA in information management and application of innovative solutions in mine action.

UNDP says it will support ANAMA in training, equipping, and deploying emergency response teams to detect and destroy mines and unexploded ordnances. In addition, the UNDP will develop maps for mine detection and procuring special equipment.

The project will also establish the first female teams in Azerbaijan to carry out demining operations, which is traditionally considered a male occupation. 

“Mines and other explosive ordnance hinder the safe return of internally displaced people, blocking them from accessing their homes and agricultural fields, hence depriving them of opportunities to rebuild their lives,” said Nuno Queirós, UNDP Azerbaijan’s Representative at the launch event in Shusha, Azerbaijan.

He added that over the last 20 years, UNDP has supported ANAMA in clearing over 850,000 mines and other explosive weapons in Azerbaijan, helping to ensure a safe return for over 160,500 internally displaced children, women, and men.

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