FSD has been active in the country since 2001. The organisation has several demining, risk education and mine victim assistance teams.
Afghanistan is one of the countries most contaminated by mines and explosive remnants of war, 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 and many mine accidents occur in the area. In this region isolated from the rest of the country by a mountain range, the access is limited for international aid.
Often involved in accidents: “butterfly” mines, those green plastic devices dropped by Soviet helicopters during the conflict against the moujahedin in the 1980s. More than one million butterfly mines are believed to remain in the country.
For some children, the only option is to cross mined areas to reach school.
School Director in the Darwaz region
FSD in Afghanistan
In 2001, FSD participated in the demining of the Kandahar province, in the south east of the country, mandated by the World Food Program and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
About 10 years later, a second demining project was implemented in the Badakhshan province, north east of the country, close to the border with Tajikistan. This project included demining and risk education activities.
This region, characterized by harsh winters and heavy snowfalls is cut off from the rest of Afghanistan by a mountain range. For more than 20 years, FSD’s operations in the region were set up from an operational base on the Tajik territory, in Qal’ai Khumb.
Year after year, during encounters with local communities, FSD teams have realized that many mine victims are in a dire socio-economic situation and don’t receive any assistance. Following a private donation appeal, a programme to support these victims was put in place in 2019.
In 2022, an operational base was settled in Kunduz, allowing the deployment of demining teams in the region, and in the neighbouring province of Balkh.
FSD activities in Afghanistan are implemented with the support of the US Department of State, the PATRIP Foundation and other private donors.
CENTIMETRE after CENTIMETRE
In 2021, our deminers have cleared 8,5 km² , an area equivalent to half of Geneva. This work requires constant concentration despite the sometimes extreme working conditions.
News from Afghanistan
Mine victim assistance
Taj Mir, in the centre of the picture, was injured in a landmine explosion in 2000 in a village near Kunduz, Afghanistan. Schoolteacher, he has suffered from persistent pain ever since and has difficulty moving around […]
1106 mines cleared in 2021
full excavation in Afghanistan
A deminer has to investigate any signal to a depth of 13 centimetres. Here, this Afghan deminer is working in a soil containing high metal contents, making the detector impossible to use. […]
Our humanitarian programmes focus on four main areas.
FSD locates and clears mines and unexploded ordnance, provides explosive ordnance risk education and assists survivors of accidental explosions.
Recovery & stability
FSD supports ongoing peace processes in various countries and provides socio-economic support to communities.
FSD remediates sites contaminated by toxic pollutants inherited from the past and act to promote biodiversity and resilience to face climate change.
Innovation & technology
FSD collaborates on research projects aiming to put new technologies, such as drones, at the service of mine action.
Where is FSD currently working in Ukraine? What does a landmine look like? Answers to your questions, once a month.
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