Whither HMA policy: Linking HMA and development assistance


SUMMARY: In 1999, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines issued a seminal report entitled Landmine Monitor: Toward a Mine-Free World. How prophetic they were on the one hand, and how unbridled and unrealistic the Campaign was on the other. Fresh off the 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC), the report notes a U.S. State Department 1998 declaration that removal had surpassed planting, and “it appears that we have turned the tide in the battle against mines, and that it is possible to solve the AP [anti-personnel] mine crisis in years not decades.”1 The report, stating that the past decade has focused on the threat to innocent civilians, heralds the emergence of a development assistance oriented approach toward demining, known as humanitarian mine action (HMA),2 which is an integrated approach to removing landmines from the ground and reducing their disastrous impact on mine-affected communities. Nobody knows how many mines there are in the ground, and that number is not very relevant, despite the attention given to the issue. What is relevant is how many people are affected by the presence of mines, which are obstacles to post-conflict reconstruction and socio-economic re-development.3

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Published: Thursday, July 16, 2020

Last Updated: Thursday, July 16, 2020

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