National Committee for Demining and Rehabilitation

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Jordan has been contaminated by landmines and explosive remnants war from various armed conflicts during the second half of the 20th century: the division of Palestine in 1948, the Arab-Israeli conflict in the late 1960s, civil war in 1970 and the 1975 conflict with Syria.1 In an effort to remove the threat of landmines to economic and residential development, the Jordanian Armed Forces began clearing the estimated 305,000 landmines in 1993. Then in 1998, Jordan became the first nation in the Middle East to sign the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction (also known as the Anti-personnel Mine Ban Convention or APMBC).2

NCDR logo

A Coordinated Response

To coordinate all national actions related to ERW and landmines in Jordan, the National Committee for Demining and Rehabilitation in Jordan was established in 2000.2 NCDR’s work is divided into five departments: Operations, Finance and Accounting, Planning, Risk Awareness and Victim Assistance, and Training.3

The Operations Department oversees all clearance activities undertaken by local and international partners such as Norwegian People’s Aid and the Royal Engineering Corps. Current demining efforts focus on Jordan’s northern border with Syria and the Jordan Valley.4 The Operations Department and its partners follow the International Mine Action Standards.3 Nevertheless, in December 2010, Omar Bani-Salaam, a Jordanian deminer working with NPA, was killed when an anti-tank mine exploded during clearance operations along Jordan’s northern border. Bani-Salaam was a retired engineer and is survived by his wife and 8 children.5

The Finance/Accounting Department works closely with senior management and the Operations Department to provide efficiency, transparency and reliable information to enhance decision-making by both managers and donors.3

The Planning Department gathers and analyzes data about landmines and ERW in Jordan. From 2008 to 2011, this department completed a large ERW assessment of 296 communities.6 During this three-year span, 524 ERW incidents caused 730 casualties, and children comprised 60 percent of the victims.7

Risk Education

With the continuous support of donors and partners, NCDR’s Risk Awareness and Victim Assistance Department successfully delivers ERW risk education to all high-risk communities in Jordan, fulfilling its three main goals: informing people about the risks of ERW, changing behavior to mitigate the ERW threat and decreasing the number of incidents.3

Table 1: Phase I (April 2007—August 2008)

Affected Communities Covered

Beneficiaries

Direct

Indirect

Total

32

104,000

100,000

204,000


Table 2: Phase II (August 2008—September 2009)

Affected Communities Covered

Beneficiaries

Direct

Indirect

Total

28

110,000

100,000

210,000


Table 3: Phase III (September 2009—August 2011)

Affected Communities Covered

Beneficiaries

Direct

Indirect

Total

74

124,612

125,000

250,000

Groups identified by assessment surveys and casualty data as a priority for mine-risk education include farmers, shepherds, children, adolescents, soldiers, forest rangers, smugglers and other community members moving through or living in affected areas. A newly identified group, emerging in the last five years, includes scrap-metal collectors and dealers.3

The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA) has funded an ongoing project of community liaison and mine-risk education since 2007. The first phases of the MRE program focused on the affected communities in Al Balqa’, Az Zarqa’, Irbid, Jarash, Mafraq and the Jordan Valley. See Tables 1, 2 and 3 for details. Between April 2007 and September 2011, the project reached 665,000 individuals in 137 communities. The final phase of the project began in September 2011 and will complete the MRE program in the northern and central regions of Jordan. Similarly, from May 2010 to October 2011, a NATO-funded risk-education project targeted 25 communities in the northern governorates of Ajlun, Az Zarqa’ and Jarash and met its goal of reaching 100,000 individuals.3

Partnering with James Madison University’s Center for International Stabilization and Recovery and Jordan’s Life Line for Consultancy and Rehabilitation, NCDR developed the “We Love Life” play, also funded by PM/WRA. This interactive drama teaches children to recognize and avoid ERW, and focuses on victim assistance and social sensitivity to survivors. During the first four months of 2009, more than 15,462 people saw the play.8 In 2010, the play was performed 20 times for more than 10,000 children.9 The theater team also performed in Lebanon and hopes to show the play in other Arabic-speaking countries as well.8

Victim Assistance

Among its many projects, NCDR’s Risk Awareness and Victim Assistance Department drafted national victim-assistance standards, worked with partners to provide orthopedic and prosthetic training to clinicians and technicians, and assisted in establishing the National Centre for Rehabilitation of Amputees in 2006.10

With funding from PM/WRA, Polus Center for Social and Economic Development, in partnership with NCDR, launched a multi-dimensional project to improve the quality and accessibility of orthotic, prosthetic and wheelchair services in Jordan in September 2011. The project established and equipped a prosthetic/orthotic center at the Princess Basma Hospital in Irbid in northern Jordan. In addition, the project created small business development opportunities for ERW survivors. Thus far, 25 survivors have received loans of JD 1,500–2,500 (US$2,113–3,522)11 to create their own income-generating businesses.3

International Training

NCDR’s Training Department organizes international courses for regional deminers. In July 2011, supported by PM/WRA, NCDR organized the first Regional ERW Quality Management Course in Arabic for 13 participants from six countries.12

Also funded by PM/WRA, NCDR organized its third ERW International Senior Managers Training Course in October 2011 in Amman, Jordan, the final course in a three-year project.13 This training, conducted in English, gathered 21 senior mine/ERW officials from 15 countries with the aim of educating, networking and maximizing the effectiveness of clearance and rehabilitation efforts.14 The courses were led by experts from NCDR, CISR, the United Nations Development Programme and other organizations.13 Six professors of management from James Madison University offered a more condensed management program for this four-week program than is provided in CISR’s five-week Senior Managers’ Course. Jordan’s course also included more of a field emphasis, capitalizing on NCDR’s mine-clearance projects and post-clearance recovery programs.15 Jordan’s ERWTC program will conclude in February 2012, and at present no future trainings are planned.16

Administration and Future Plans

Coordinating these departments, NCDR has 16 staff in its office in Amman, Jordan. The chairman, His Royal Highness Prince Mired Raad Al Hussein, joined NCDR after serving in the military and in many humanitarian and charity organizations.17

Sponsored by His Majesty King Abdullah II, NCDR held a high profile event on 24 April 2012 to preview its May 1, 2012 announcement of its “minefield free” status, meeting its deadline in Article 5 of the APMBC.16 Jordan also aims to have all ERW cleared by December 2012.2 Though all known mines will be cleared according to Article 5 guidelines, verification processes and spot clearance of residual mines will continue in the Jordan Valley and along the northern border.16

~ Rachael Weber, CISR staff

Contact Information

General Mohammad Breikat
National Committee for Demining and Rehabilitation
Albaz St. 8th Circle
P.O. Box 143126
Amman 11844 / Jordan
Tel: +962-6585-9615
Fax: +962-6585-9614
Email: breikat@ncdr.org.jo
Website: http://www.ncdr.org.jo

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

 

Endnotes

  1. “Jordan.” Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor. http://www.the-monitor.org/
    index.php/publications/display?url=lm/2008/countries/jordan.html
    . Accessed 30 January 2012.
  2.  “National Committee for Demining and Rehabilitation: Mine Action in Jordan.” NCDR. http://www.ncdr.org.jo/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=22&Itemid=53. Accessed 30 January 2012.
  3. Adnan Telfah, email correspondence with author. 23 February 2012.
  4.  “Operations.” NCDR. http://www.ncdr.org.jo/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id
    =16:operations&Itemid=32
    . Accessed 17 January 2012.
  5. Muna Alalul, email correspondence with ERWTC 2010. 23 December 2010.
  6. “Explosive Remnants of War Removal.” NCDR. http://www.ncdr.org.jo/index.php?option=com_content&view
    =article&id=35:erw-removal&Itemid=32
     . Accessed 30 January 2012.
  7. “Jordan Mine and ERW Action Update 2011.” NCDR. http://www.ncdr.org.jo/index.php?option=
    com_simplelists&view=simplelist&layout=picture&category_id=13&Itemid=71
    . Accessed 30 January 2012.
  8. “Mine Risk Education.” NCDR. http://www.ncdr.org.jo/index.php?option=com_content
    &view=article&id=12&Itemid=17
     . Accessed 11 January 2012.
  9. “2010 Performances List.” We Love Life. http://www.jmu.edu/cisr/programs/training.html. Accessed 30 January 2012.
  10. “Survivor and Victim Assistance.” NCDR. http://www.ncdr.org.jo/index.php?option=com_content
    &view=article&id=13&Itemid=18
    . Accessed 30 January 2012.
  11. The exchange rate on 23 February 2012.
  12.  “The National Committee for Demining and Rehabilitation concludes Regional Explosive Remnants of War Quality Management Training Course, the first training course of its kind delivered in Arabic language.” NCDR. http://www.ncdr.org.jo/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=43:the-regional-explosive-remnants-of-war-quality-management-training-course&catid=11:previous-events&Itemid=68. Accessed 30 January 2012.
  13. “ERWTC.” NCDR. http://www.ncdr.org.jo/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=26&Itemid=59. Accessed 11 January 2012.
  14. Ghazal, Mohammad. “Jordan on track to meet mine-ban deadline.” NCDR. http://www.ncdr.org.jo/index.php?
    option=com_content&view=article&id=62:23rd-september-erwtc-2011-jordan-times&catid=10:news&Itemid=40
    . Accessed 30 January 2012.
  15.  Susan Fiederlein, email correspondence with author. 20 January 2012.
  16.  Muna Alalul, email correspondence with author. 24 January 2012.
  17. “Our Staff.” NCDR. http://www.ncdr.org.jo/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=31&Itemid=31. Accessed 17 February 2012.

 

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