Currently, different local organizations have shown interest in the newly created ANAMA Mine Survivors Database with the purpose of creating various assistance projects for the disabled and refugees, as well as needy persons. A total of 1,883 Azeri mine survivors, detailed in the ANAMA Mine Survivors Database, are currently waiting for any type of assistance. I would like to take this opportunity to address this article to all who are willing to respond to mine survivors' needs. I am also writing this article also to continue collaboration on the implementation of assistance projects.
Humanitarian mine action in Azerbaijan has been institutionalized since July 1998, when ANAMA was established by Presidential Decree. In April 1999, the government of Azerbaijan and the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) signed a joint project, the Azerbaijan Mine Action Program, as a result of recommendations made in the assessment mission that the U.N. Mine Action Service (UNMAS) authorized.
Along with humanitarian demining and mine awareness, in April 2002, ANAMA started its mine victim support activity (MVA). The list of main achievements in this area to date is as follows:
- The Working Group on MVA was created and started its activity.
- The Survey on Mine Survivors' Needs Research was successfully put into practice.
- Qualitatively and quantitatively new, unified and easy access for all stakeholders of the Data Bank on Mine Survivors has been created.
- Business relations with national organizations and ministries concerned, as well as international organizations and campaigns, have been developed.
- Public relations on MVA continues by means of mass media.
As is clear from the statements above, ANAMA's strategic priority was to create and update a more comprehensive new database on mine/UXO survivors.
The Countrywide Survey on Mine/UXO Survivors' Needs Research
The goals of the Mine/UXO Survivors' Needs research were as follows:
- Identify all possible mine/UXO survivors in the country
- Find out a wide range of mine/UXO survivors' needs
Surveyors from the International Eurasia Press Fund interview a mine survivor in Shuvelyan village.
It is necessary to note that the basic needs of mine survivors in Azerbaijan are almost the same as injured persons from other countries, with only some nuances. In economic assistance, they are in need of habitation repair, credit grants and land plots. In professional rehabilitation, they require agricultural development (especially stock raising) and occupational opportunities in small businesses and driver's businesses. In social rehabilitation, they desire to participate actively in public work. They also need to receive education in language and computer skills. Even a small monthly income is attractive: for one survivor ranging from $3.40 to $250, and for a family ranging from $18 to $520. It should be noted that of mine/UXO victims, 44.2 percent have families ranging from five to seven members.
A mine survivor's family from Balakhani settlement.
Currently, different local organizations have shown interest in the newly created ANAMA Mine Survivors Database with the purpose of creating various assistance projects for the disabled and refugees, as well as needy persons. The basic topics of these requests are professional rehabilitation (passing management courses, studying crafts, etc.), with survivors subsequently provided with the equipment and resources for work; providing micro-credits; organizing computer courses; and treatment issues.
The Questionnaire Form
The new Questionnaire Form developed by ANAMA employees, added to the standard IMSMA Casualty Incident Form, has served as a basis for the research. The Questionnaire Form details a wide spectrum of services available to mine victims including medical, economic, psychosocial, physical, legal, professional and other assistance: Thus, the questionnaire was placed on two sheets:
- IMSMA Casualty Incident Victim Form. (Download here, Word .doc)
- Mine Survivors' Needs Research Form. (Download here, Word .doc)
From the previous IMSMA Incident Form, the following sections are related to the needs of survivors:
- "The Name and Surname"
- "Employment" (before incident)
- "Other victims" (with addition of a residence and possible contacts)
- "Losses" (with specifications: above and below an elbow, fingers and toes of hand and foot)
- The section "Other Wounds" demands significant specification/additions and, consequently, has been removed since it is detailed in the additional form.
The version of the form here is intermediate and available. The full and abridged versions of the questionnaire also exist. We assume that it is rather simple to understand the contents and applicability of the given questionnaire form. For additional information and detailed instructions for the given questionnaire, address inquiries to the contact below.
Undoubtedly, references to the prominent features of each country will change parts of a questionnaire. After time, the collected data can lose its former reliability, in which case it is necessary to contact the mine victims again or repeat research. To this end, ANAMA Work Plans include carrying out research on the needs of families of mine victims.
*All graphics courtesy of the author.