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Afghanistan remains one of the most densely mine and explosive remnants of war affected countries in the world.

Irish Aid funded demining teams working in Ghandaki Village, Balkh, Afghanistan Photo: Halo Trust

Since 2006, Irish Aid has provided funding of over €9.5 million to HALO Trust's demining programme in Afghanistan.

562 square kilometers of land in Afghanistan remains contaminated with landmines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW). Unexploded ordnance, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), legacy mines and suicide attacks led to unprecedented levels of trauma cases in 2019.

Through HALO Trust, we are working with the Afghan government's Department of Mine Clearance and the UN's Mine Action Coordination Centre to save lives, prevent injury and increase the availability of safe land through clearing landlines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) from contaminated land.

681,242 square meters of mine contaminated ground was cleared with Irish Aid funding during 2019, enabling beneficiaries to use this additional land to grow crops in order to feed their families.

Find out more:

Read more about our support for mine clearance and the impact it is having on the lives of people in Afghanistan.

Nesar, Irakli Village, Samangan Province

I've lived here all my life, through the troubles and civil war. I live with my five children - one is a tiny baby - and my wife. We have sheep and goats, and I drive a taxi as well to support us all. Before the mines were cleared, we had a lot of problems: our children couldn't go to the mined area to graze the animals and we worried about them all the time. A few years ago I heard an explosion and I went out of my house to see what happened - a shepherd had trodden on a mine and lost his leg. We were always telling our children not to go to this area and not to pick things up off the ground. Since the land was cleared, we are very happy. The villagers are using the land for grazing and collecting firewood and they can cross the land to reach their homes and people are building houses in areas where the mines have been taken away. We feel very confident that the land is safe, but now out biggest problem is that we don't have a well to get safe water for drinking. God willing, we will be able to build one soon. My other hope for the future is that my children will be able to graduate from school and after that from university."

Four of Nesar's children pose for the camera at Task MF0029 in Irkali Village, Samangan. Credit: Halo Trust

Further information on HALO Trust

Further information on HALO Trust’s work in Afghanistan click on Afghanistan in the map linked here