Afghanistan

FSD has been active in the country since 2001, carrying out mine action operations, including demining, explosive ordnance risk education and victim assistance.

une famille en Afghanistan

Afghanistan (2018) – Survivor of an accidental explosion of antipersonnel mine, Rahmi Ali (second plane on the left) has benefited from the help of the FSD to resume an activity compatible with its disability: beekeeping..

The situation

Afghanistan is one of the countries most contaminated by mines and explosive remnants of war, the sad legacy of nearly four decades of armed conflict.

The remote region of Badakhshan, in which FSD operates in the northeast of the country, represents 15% of the contaminated territory. Many accidents occur in this area, isolated from the rest of the country by a mountain range and where relief and international aid are challenging to access.

Often involved: “butterfly” mines, those green plastic devices dropped by Soviet helicopters during clashes against the mujahedin in the 1980s. More than a million are believed to remain in the country.

“Once demining is finished, no one will lose a leg when they go to work.”

Mohamed, mine victim

mine action

Mine clearance

In the Badakhshan Mountains, FSD deminers locate and destroy anti-personnel mines and explosive remnants of war dating from the Soviet occupation.

Almost 3 million square meters of former battlefields and minefields have so far been secured. This involved the neutralization of more than 40,000 explosive devices.

démineuse en action avec la FSD

mine action

Explosive ordnance risk education

FSD teams travel to villages and pastures to teach families and herders how to react if they come across a mine or unexploded ordnance.

More than 100,000 Afghans have thus been made aware, including many children, the most vulnerable to accidents.

destruction des mines debrief avant operation avec FSD

mine action

Support to mine victims 

This program’s objective, launched in 2019, is to provide socio-economic assistance to people with disabilities following an accidental explosion.

About 100 victims have already received aid from FSD or are under assessment.

sensibilisation aux risques des mines par la FSD

FSD in Afghanistan

In 2001, FSD participated in the demining of Kandahar province, in the south-east of the country, at the World Food Program and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

About ten years later, the FSD took advantage of its presence in neighboring Tajikistan to begin decontamination of the Afghan border region, Badakhshan.
This low and extreme weather area is cut off from the rest of Afghanistan by a mountain range. Therefore, the FSD’s base is set up on the Tajik side, and deminers go to minefields across the border every day to secure the land, meter after meter.
This operation and the mine risk awareness sessions for the population are being carried out with the support of the US State Department and the German foundation PATRIP.

In their meetings with local communities over the years, FSD teams have further realized that many landmine victims are in dire economic and social circumstances and receive no assistance. Following a call for private donations, an assistance program was put in place in 2019.

centimetre by centimetre

In 2020, our deminers cleared 3.2 km² , an area equivalent to the City of London. This work requires constant concentration despite the sometimes extreme working conditions.

News from the field

FSD, it’s them.
Every day, they put their courage and expertise to work to make the world a safer place. Read the testimonials and stories from our employees around the world.

Machine gun ammunition at the waste dump

Machine gun ammunition at the waste dump

In eastern Ukraine, the poverty caused by the armed conflict has led many people to collect and sell scrap metal to earn a little more money. This is a risky activity, which exposes them to landmines and unexploded ordnance. One day someone brought me an old bucket...

Deminer’s anecdotes

Deminer’s anecdotes

Some time ago, FSD was invited to visit a sixth-grade class at the Florimont Institute in Geneva to talk to students about humanitarian demining. After the presentation, the children asked questions which were recorded and passed on to our deminers in the field. This...

Pastor and risk education volunteer

Pastor and risk education volunteer

" I take advantage of my sermons to talk about unexploded ordnance " Joselito Remedios, 54, is a pastor and an explosive ordnance risk education provider. For the past year, he has been a member of the Fondation suisse de déminage (FSD)’s volunteer team in the...

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Our activities

Our humanitarian programs focus on four main areas. 

1-MINES

mine action

FSD locates and clears mines and unexploded ordnance, provides explosive ordnance risk education and assists survivors of accidental explosions.

2-RELEVEMENT

recovery & stability

FSD supports ongoing peace processes in various countries and provides socio-economic support to communities.
3-PROTECTION-

Environmental protection

FSD remediates sites contaminated by toxic substances from the past, including obsolete pesticide stocks and mining waste.
4-INNOVATION-

innovation &
technology

FSD collaborates on research & innovation projects aiming to use new technologies, such as drones, in mine action.