UNMAS: Regional coordination for Mine Action

Project completed

SDC will support UNMAS to consolidate and expand the Mine Action Authority (The Office of the High Counsellor for Peace - Descontamina Colombia) capacity to coordinate with regional and local authorities in 13 prioritized mine-affected departments, ass well as with other public socio-economic development policies. This will ensure transition period to new local and regional governments and the inclusion of Mine Action public policy in the general planning of 13 prioritized departments, facilitating the improvement of efficiency and efficacy of Mine Action in the field. It will build on a project previously financed by the UN Multipartner Trust Fund for Sustaining Peace, within the implementation of the Peace Accord and the MIne Ban Treaty's obligation to have a mine-free country. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Conflict & fragility
Humanitarian Assistance & DRR
Removal of land mines
Protection, access & security
Public sector policy
05.02.2020 - 04.10.2020
CHF 200'000

As a result of more than fifty years of armed conflict involving various non-state actors, Colombia suffers from widespread presence of explosive hazards. While the full scope of the problem is not yet known, incidents involving explosive hazards have been reported in 710 of 1,122 municipalities and 11,801 casualties recorded between January 1990 and December 2019. Despite a consistent downward trend in the number of casualties between 2006 and 2017, Colombia experienced a dramatic increase in the number of new casualties from explosive hazards in 2018, which continues in 2019. While 2017 finished with the lowest number of casualties in two decades (57), 2018 saw an increase of more than 200% from the previous year (178 new casualties). The figures also show the number of civilian casualties from 2017 has been higher than the number of military casualties for the first time since 2012. This seems to indicate that new explosive items are being placed in areas thought to be free of contamination.

Such contamination poses a threat to populations and has the potential to block socio economic development in the rural areas that need it most. To effectively respond to the problem, the Colombian Government has made a priority the coordination of national, regional, and local authorities. This aims at strengthening the response capacities of local authorities and communities as well as local and regional public policy advocates. Also it further supports the Government’s objective to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Mine Action Authority with a comprehensive approach.

Coordination is key to mitigate protection risks in areas where humanitarian demining is not possible due to security reasons and to improve the livelihoods of affected communities. At the same time it is required for supporting territorial public development policies (linked to the implementation of the Peace Accord) and for contributing towards the fulfilment of the Ottawa Mine Ban Treaty’s obligation to have a mine-free Colombia (for which the Government will request a new extension in 2020 to set 2025 as the new deadline).



Mitigating the impact of explosive hazards on affected communities thus contributing to sustained peace and socio-economic development.


Target groups

Directly: 3.500 beneficiaries

The Office of the High Counsellor for Peace – Descontamina Colombia (National Mine Action Authority), local authorities, civil society organizations, humanitarian stakeholders, victim organizations, survivors and their families, and communities at-risk or affected by explosive hazards in 13 prioritized departments: Antioquia, Arauca, Bolívar, Caquetá, Casanare, Cauca, Córdoba, Chocó,  Guaviare, Meta, Nariño, Norte de Santander and Putumayo.

Indirect: 14.000 beneficiaries


Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: Mine Action Centre/National Mine Action Authority organizational and technical capacity is enhanced.



Expected results:  

Output 1.1: Mine Action activities are integrated within local and regional development plans and coordinated across the peace humanitarian development nexus.

Indicators of Output 1.1

-323 of municipalities with standing Mine Action (MA) presence.

-1 inter-institutional Mine Action strategy in articulation with other public development policies designed.

-17 local planning tools with MA mainstreamed (e.g. local and regional development plans).

-44 municipalities where referral pathways for victims have been developed or updated.

-310 victims assisted.

-37 Mine Risk Education roundtables supported by regional and local coordinators.

-42 information meetings on Humanitarian Demining interventions with local authorities.

-25 organizations supported.

-300 of interventions to improve MA stakeholder’s coordination.


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Humanitarian aid
Project partners Contract partner
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Other UN Organisation

Implementing partner
United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) is an experienced and recognized international NGO in the field of Mine Action. UNMAS is a partner of SDC in Colombia since 2016.

Other partners

Mine Action donors, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombian Agency for Cooperation.


Coordination with other projects and actors

The Office of the High Counsellor for Peace – Descontamina Colombia (National Mine Action Authority), Comisión Intersectorial Nacional para la Acción Integral contra Minas Antipersonal (CINAMAP), Instancia Interinstitucional de Desminado Humanitario (IIDH).


Local and regional authorities, Humanitarian Demining organizations, communities, survivors, organizations.


National Land Agency, the Rural Development Agency, the Land Restitution Unit, Reintegration and Normalization Agency, and the National Victims’ Integral attention and reparation system.


Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF   200'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF   200'057
Project phases

Phase 3 05.02.2020 - 04.10.2020   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.07.2016 - 30.06.2017   (Completed)