Afghanistan is one of the most heavily mine-infested countries in the world. During a 10-year occupation beginning in 1979 followed by years of internal warfare, landmines were planted throughout the country. The most heavily impacted areas are near the borders of Pakistan and Iran. Following the Soviet occupation, over 800 square kilometers (308.88 square miles) were contaminated with landmines. The exact number of mines plaguing the country is unknown, as minefield records are still incomplete. With such a vast problem, there was an immense need for action. In 1989, a mine action program was developed that would later become one of the world's most successful mine action organizations: the Mine Action Programme for Afghanistan (MAPA).



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