AFGHANISTAN: MAG Returns to Afghanistan
MAG's first humanitarian demining program began in 1989 in Afghanistan, following the withdrawal of Soviet troops. Landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) had crippled the rebuilding process in the country, highlighting the need for solutions related to contamination.
Afghanistan has some of the highest levels of contamination from landmines and UXO in the world. estimastes that over 2,300 communities and more than 4 million people have been affected by landmines in Afghanistan. After years of clearance work, there are still over 1,730 square miles of land that is suspected to be hazardous.
In 2009, MAG returned to Afghanistan to resume operations, with its main focus being capacity-building in the region. MAG's technical staff are currently working with local NGOs to assist with implementing quality assurance programs, and are also teaching these groups how to maintain and manage machinery used in clearing mines.
By building the capacity of these organizations, MAG is able to assist in the rebuilding process in Afghanistan as well as allow communities to safely return to their homes.