Rugged mountains, challenging road conditions, ongoing security concerns, and a fluctuating donor landscape present a wide range of obstacles to mine clearance efforts in Afghanistan and neighboring Tajikistan. The Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) first entered the region in 2001 in the wake of the US-led invasion of Afghanistan. Since then, the mine action sectors in both countries have seen significant progress and growth. FSD has been part of this process since its early days through its country programs in Tajikistan and Afghanistan, engaging in a variety of mine action activities including clearance (manual, mechanical, and with mine detection dogs [MDD]), risk education, stockpile destruction, and victim assistance. This article describes the contexts of both countries’ contamination and the ways in which mine action has been applied to mitigate the impact of explosive ordnance (EO). The article also explores the obstacles and challenges that mine action organizations face in Afghanistan and Tajikistan, respectively, and describes how they can be overcome.



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