UN Renews Commitment to Clearing Unexploded Ordnance in Afghanistan

New York, May 22, 2024 – The United Nations has reaffirmed its support for efforts to find sustainable solutions to the growing problem of unexploded ordnance in Afghanistan.

In a statement, UN Deputy Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix expressed deep concern over the devastating impact of explosive remnants of war on Afghan communities. Lacroix recently returned from a visit to the country, where he witnessed firsthand the tragic toll these hazards have taken.

According to UN data, over 800 people were killed in explosions from mines and other explosives in Afghanistan last year, with children accounting for a majority of the victims. Lacroix emphasized that Afghanistan has grappled with this issue for decades, and effective education and skills development programs have been crucial in addressing it.

The UN official noted that hundreds of thousands of tons of unexploded ordnance still litter the country, contaminating large swaths of land and infrastructure. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has warned that this widespread contamination continues to pose a severe threat to the safety and well-being of Afghan citizens.

Lacroix reiterated the UN’s commitment to supporting the Afghan government and other stakeholders in their efforts to clear these deadly remnants of war and protect vulnerable populations.

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