Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have been widely used in Afghanistan since the mid-2000s, presenting a significant and life-threatening hazard to the civilian population. As areas become free from conflict and permissible for humanitarian clearance, an effective response is required to protect civilians. With the support of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the German Federal Foreign Office, and in coordination with the Directorate of Mine Action Coordination (DMAC; the Afghan national mine action authority) and other stakeholders, The HALO Trust (HALO) has developed and implemented a successful proof of concept for manual clearance of victim operated IEDs (VOIEDs). While VOIEDs are cleared in other countries and have previously been cleared in Afghanistan, this project, delivered in Helmand province, has provided the opportunity to develop and test safer and more efficient methods for the targeted humanitarian clearance of AIMs in the current Afghan context. This article explains the path HALO has taken to deliver the proof of concept, some of the results so far, and future plans for supporting the sector.



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