Swiss Foundation for Mine Action

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Established in 1997, Fondation Suisse de Déminage (the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action) is a private, international mine-action organization located in Geneva, Switzerland that has implemented mine-action programs in 15 countries. FSD's mission is to locate and destroy landmines and unexploded ordnance in contaminated areas and foster positive social, economic and environmental conditions during reconstruction.1

A team of 50 international experts serve as supervisors, operations officers and program managers. Prior to joining FSD all team members have had many years of professional mine-action experience and most also have military backgrounds. While in-country, these experts hire and train locals to act as mine-clearance experts (also called “operators”). Currently, 1,020 trained national staff members are in the field—all supported by a 4-person management team at the Geneva headquarters.1

FSD’s funding comes from public and private donors. Swiss Government organizations, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swiss Army, donate approximately five percent of contributions.1 The majority of project funding comes from the governments of Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, European Commission Humanitarian Office and the United States. Multilateral organizations, such as the United Nations Mine Action Service and the United Nations Development Programme, provide other donations.2

Current Activities

FSD intervenes during armed conflicts and throughout transitional, recovery, and reconstruction or development periods. As needed, FSD provides the following wide-ranging services and expertise during any of these phases:

Adrien Buhire, an FSD deminer, points to teh hole in his truck caused by the bullet that wounded him during an attack on the FSD convoy in Burundi in March 2008. Photo courtesy of Zlatko Gegic. Adrien Buhire, an FSD deminer, points to the hole in his truck caused by the bullet that wounded him during an attack on the FSD convoy in Burundi in March 2008.
Photo courtesy of Zlatko Gegic.

FSD has operated in 21 countries across the globe, and a sampling of its efforts reveal its scope. FSD’s continued work in Sri Lanka focuses on community liaison, MRE and mine clearance. Close contact with local authorities allowed FSD to integrate mine action into development and relief plans, further benefiting affected populations. FSD established two community liaison and MRE teams in 2010 to continue engagement with the local community after demining teams move on and internally displaced persons return to areas that still may be contaminated.

In 2009, FSD began providing MRE in northwestern Pakistan. Since then, more than half a million people were educated in 3,400 risk-education sessions about living in UXO-contaminated areas. FSD reached a wide population by obtaining lists of enrollment in local schools, health-care systems and mosques. Following these efforts, in 2010, FSD produced media messages about the dangers of UXO in Pakistan. Also in 2010, FSD worked in Afghanistan to provide medical specialists and equipment to an Afghan Ministry of Public Health clinic in Nusai.2 In the Middle East, FSD began work in Lebanon in 2006, deploying battle-area clearance and explosive ordnance-disposal teams to clear land heavily contaminated with cluster munitions.

Since March 2011 FSD has been active in Libya, starting in Tobruk and later operating in Benghazi, Sirte and the Nafusa Mountains.

Ongoing Efforts

FSD continues developing and operating numerous mine-action programs in landmine- and UXO-affected countries: Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya, the Philippines, South Sudan, Sri Lanka and Tajikistan.4 FSD’s operations are strongly influenced by an understanding of the continued dangers to civilians and communities during fragile post-conflict development. Understanding these dangers in the development phase is essential for FSD as it works to implement sustainable mine-action programs worldwide.

~ Ivy Hensley,CISR staff

 

Contact Information

Fondation Suisse de Déminage (FSD)
7bis, Avenue de la Paix - Floor 2
CH-1202 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 737 20 43
Fax: +41 22 737 20 49
Email:  info@fsd.ch
Website: http://fsd.ch

Center for International Stabilization and Recovery
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, Virginia / USA
Email: cisr@jmu.edu
Website: http://cisr.jmu.edu

 

Endnotes

  1. “About FSD.” Swiss Foundation for Mine Action. http://www.fsd.ch/about-fsd. Accessed 18 January 2012.
  2. “Annual Report 2010.”Swiss Foundation for Mine Action. http://bit.ly/wVEmlg. Accessed 18 January 2012.
  3. “Our Strategy.”Swiss Foundation for Mine Action. http://www.fsd.ch/about-fsd/our-strategy Accessed 2 March 2012.
  4. “Country Operations.”Swiss Foundation for Mine Action. http://www.fsd.ch/country-operations. Accessed 18 January 2012.

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